“We don’t agree with the U.S. in pushing for the extension of the arms embargo against Iran in the Security Council,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Webin said Thursday. “All the provisions of Resolution 2231, including the relevant arrangements with regard to arms embargo, should be implemented in earnest.”
Wenbin’s remarks come just a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. will officially submit a resolution asking the U.N. security board to extend the Iranian nuclear arms embargo.
“The Security Council’s mission is to maintain ‘international peace and security’,” Pompeo told reporters Wednesday.
“The Council would make an absolute mockery of that mission if it allowed the number-one state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell weapons freely,” he added.
The U.S. draft resolution not only needs nine out of 15 favorable votes in order to pass, but all five permanent member nations including China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S., must vote in favor of the resolution. This means if China or Russia issue a veto, Pompeo’s resolution will fail
China and Russia have hinted that they would oppose any measures aiming to maintain a nuclear arms embargo on their ally, Iran.
Pompeo has been urgently pushing the matter with U.N. member nations for months, and has condemned China’s relationship with Iran.
In a press conference last month, Pompeo announced that U.S. intelligence officials believe that China has formed a strategic relationship with Iran, ready to launch new nuclear policies with each other once the embargo expires in October.
“China will sell weapons systems to Iran” and “Iranians believe that China will sell systems to Iran,” Pompeo told reporters.
“The proposal we put forward is eminently reasonable,” Pompeo said Wednesday. “One way or another we will do the right thing. We will ensure that the arms embargo is extended.”
But if Pompeo is unsuccessful in getting all five member nations to agree to the embargo, the U.S. intends to enforce all U.N. sanctions on Iran – a process made possible under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The sanctions would effectively kill or strongly prevent Iran from being able to develop nuclear arms.
Iran has beached parts of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which aimed to roll back Iran’s nuclear program and put in place monitoring measures.
President Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, and imposed sanctions as a part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.
Critics have argued this move opened Iran up to breaching the contract, prompting the country to continue bolstering their program and denying access to certain facilities.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a nuclear watchdog, placed sanctions on Iran in June for failing to permit inspectors into two separate nuclear sites.
IAEA Director General, Rafael Grossi said Iran needs to address their questions concerning “possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear related activities.”
The resolution, put forward by France, Germany and the U.K., passed 25-2.
Russia and China were the only two nations to vote against the IAEA’s resolution, an ominous sign for Pompeo’s U.N. Security Council’s draft resolution on expanding Iran’s current arms embargo.
Iran has denied it is attempting to build a nuclear bomb.
The United Nations could not be immediately reached for comment.