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Security Council rejects US resolution to extend arms embargo on Iran

Only two countries voted in favor of the resolution

UNITED NATIONS, August 15. /TASS/. The US resolution to extend the arms embargo on Iran failed to get the required number of votes during a UN Security Council session on Friday, as the majority of members abstained.

According to Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of August 2020, two countries voted in favor of the resolution (the United States and the Dominican Republic), two were against (Russia and China).

The remaining 11 nations abstained (France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Vietnam, South Africa, Indonesia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia, Estonia).

The voting was held in the written format due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a statement the United Nations Security Council "failed today to uphold its fundamental mission" of maintaining international peace and security.

"It 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," the statement says, describing the Security Council’s move as "inexcusable."

"The Security Council rejected direct appeals to extend the arms embargo from numerous countries in the Middle East endangered by Iran’s violence. Arab nations and Israel strongly supported extending the embargo," the US top diplomat said.

"The United States will never abandon our friends in the region who expected more from the Security Council. We will continue to work to ensure that the theocratic terror regime does not have the freedom to purchase and sell weapons that threaten the heart of Europe, the Middle East and beyond," Pompeo added.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft announced on Wednesday that the United States had submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on extending the embargo on selling conventional weapons to Iran and buying them from it, until the Security Council rules otherwise. Washington urged all the Security Council members to support this initiative.

Under the Iran nuclear deal, the restrictions on selling armaments to Iran expire on October 18. US officials have numerously stated that they will seek the embargo’s extension, despite the US pullout from the Iran nuclear deal.

In June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General and the Security Council Chairman pointing to the lack of any objective reasons to discuss the topic of the arms embargo extension at the UN Security Council. The Russian top diplomat recalled that under UN Security Council Resolution 2231 the procedure of arms supplies to Iran had a temporary nature. He stressed that it did not provide for the use of restrictions on weapons supplies to Iran after October 18, 2020 and there were neither legal nor any other reasons to revise it.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin came out with an initiative to organize a summit of the United Nations Security Council permanent members, Germany and Iran to discuss problems of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). "We suggest holding an online meeting of the heads of state from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the leaders of Germany and Iran in the near future," the president said in a statement posted on the Kremlin website. "The purpose is to identify steps that will allow for avoiding confrontation and an aggravation of the situation in the UN Security Council and for furnishing collective support for the further uninterrupted implementation of UN Security Council’s Resolution 2231, which provided an international legal basis for JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program] implementation.".