U.S. Congress urges Trump administration to extend Iran arms embargo

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The Democratic and Republic Congress members voted overwhelmingly on Monday for extending the arms embargo against Iran that expires in October.

The majority of 387 out of 435 members sent a letter on Monday to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, urging him to renew the United Nations embargo.

“The UN arms embargo will be the first provision of the Iran nuclear deal to expire,” said Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel.

“UN Security Council Resolution 2231 bans arms transfers to and from Iran, yet Iran routinely violates this resolution with impunity, particularly in Syria, Iraq and Yemen,” the members wrote in their letter.

“This letter, supported overwhelmingly by both parties in the House, represents an imperative to reauthorize this provision — not through snapback or going it alone – but through a careful diplomatic campaign. The Trump Administration has promised a better deal, and it falls to the administration to solve this crisis, not make it worse. Iran continues to be a danger to the United States, our interests, and our allies. We need a realistic and practical strategy to prevent Iran from becoming a greater menace,” Engel added.

“Iran’s illicit transfers of weapons directly contribute to some of the most destabilizing threats to the United States and our partners in the Middle East,” they added.

“We are also concerned about the expiration of the UN-imposed travel restrictions on some of Iran’s most notorious individuals who have long violated UN proliferation and weapons restrictions,” the letter read.

“The UN travel restrictions allow states to refuse transit to covered individuals, which limits their ability to train, fundraise, and plan around the globe. Restricting their movement is critical to our national security.”

Ranking Member Michael McCaul said: “Nearly every member of the US House of Representatives is in agreement: Iran must not be allowed to buy or sell weapons. This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, or even just an American issue.”

“We need to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran for the sake of international peace and security. I am proud the House is speaking with one voice to protect the world against Iran’s aggressive and destabilizing behavior.”

Pompeo last week vowed to use all means available to extend the arms embargo on Iran.

He said he would ask the UN Security Council to prolong the ban.

The United States in 2018 withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal that sought to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. As part of that deal, a UN arms embargo on Iran expires in October.

But China and particularly Russia, which stand to win major new arms contracts with Iran, are certain to oppose an extension. They only agreed to the five-year ban in 2015 as a compromise reached with the Obama administration.

Source » aawsat

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