Earlier in the day, the UN Security Council rejected a resolution aimed at extending the arms embargo against Iran, ahead of its expiration in October.
The Trump administration will be following up on its promise to “stop at nothing” to extend an arms embargo on Iran, said the US ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, said after UN Security Council voted not to adopt a resolution that aimed at prolonging the blockade.
“Under Resolution 2231, the United States has every right to initiate snapback of provisions of previous Security Council resolutions,” Craft said in a statement on Friday. “In the coming days, the United States will follow through on that promise to stop at nothing to extend the arms embargo.”
Resolution 2231, addressed by Craft, endorsed the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, from which the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew in May 2018.
The decision not to extend the arms embargo on Iran was announced earlier in the day, drawing a denouncement from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who asserted that the UNSC “failed to uphold its fundamental mission set” by rejecting the resolution.
“It [UNSC] rejected a reasonable resolution to extend the 13-year old arms embargo on Iran and paved the way for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell conventional weapons without specific UN restrictions in place for the first time in over a decade,” Pompeo said on Friday.
Following US intentions to do everything possible to prevent Tehran from buying and selling weapons on the international market, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, said that the return of any UN Security Council sanctions on Iran would be met severely, and insisted that the US will be fully responsible.
“As we have already stated, imposition of any sanctions or restrictions on Iran by the Security Council will be met severely by Iran and our options are not limited. And the United States and any entity which may assist it or acquiesce in its illegal behavior, will bear the full responsibility,” Ravanchi said on Friday.
Iran has faced a US-led arms embargo for 13 years. The embargo is set to expire in October, under the terms of the JCPOA, which would have seen Tehran scale back its nuclear program in exchange for sanction relief. The deal was signed in 2015 between Iran, the United States, China, France, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.
In May 2018, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the JCPOA. Beginning in 2019, Tehran began to step away from its commitments under the deal, reiterating that its nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful.