Iran: new US plea to maintain the arms embargo

(Doha) A lifting of the UN arms embargo on Iran would intensify violence in the Middle East, US envoy for Iran Brian Hook warned on Sunday.

France Media Agency

The United States is campaigning for the maintenance of the embargo which expires on 13 October and has threatened in the past to trigger a process of restoring international sanctions to Iran if it is not prolonged.

“The embargo has been in place for 13 years and it has limited Iran's ability to move weapons” Hook told reporters in an online briefing hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Qatar.

“I have spoken with leaders in the Gulf and around the world and no one believes that Iran should be able to freely buy and sell conventional weapons such as fighter jets… and various types of missiles “, he added.

“But if the Security Council [de l’ONU] does not extend the embargo by 13, Iran will be able to buy and sell these weapons freely. Imagine what the region will look like if that happens, the conflicts in places like Syria and Yemen are sure to intensify. ”

At the end of June, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned, during a Security Council video conference, that lifting the arms embargo would amount to giving Iran “sword of Damocles on the economic stability of the Middle East ”. Arguments then rejected en bloc by Beijing and Moscow.

The lifting of this embargo is provided for in a resolution having ratified in 35 the international Iranian nuclear agreement which withdrew in 2018 the US administration of Donald Trump.

This has reinstated economic sanctions against Iran, its enemy.

Mr. Hook also said his country would continue to hope for a resolution of the diplomatic row between Qatar and four countries in the region.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have imposed economic and diplomatic sanctions on Doha since June 2017, accusing Qatar to support radical Islamist movements and to be too close to Iran, which he denies.

“The conflict has gone on for too long and ends up damaging our common interests in stability, prosperity and security,” said Mr. Hook.