US introduces updated draft Security Council resolution to extend Iran arms embargo

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The U.S. on Tuesday introduced an updated and more streamlined draft Security Council resolution that would extend a thirteen-year arms embargo on Iran that is due to expire in October — and that the U.S. has promised to extend.

The technical rollover draft resolution, a short four paragraphs, would simply extend the embargo “until the Security Council decides otherwise.”

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“The United States has engaged in good-faith diplomacy for months,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft said in a statement to Fox News. “The draft we have put forward today takes Council views into account and simply does what everyone knows should be done – extend the arms embargo to prevent Iran from freely buying and selling conventional weapons. It is only common sense that the world’s #1 state sponsor of terror not be given the means of unleashing even greater harm on the world.”

Reuters, which first obtained the resolution, reported that the U.S. has asked for comments on the text by 10 a.m. ET Wednesday morning.

The initial draft, according to Bloomberg News, had called upon all member states to halt all sales of weapons to and from Iran and, “to refrain from providing any technical training, financial resources or services, advice, other services or assistance related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, maintenance or use of arms,” to Iran.

One Security Council diplomat told Fox News before today’s updated draft resolution was released that Russia and China, who have signaled they will not be voting for the U.S. draft, would not need to use their veto since the diplomat didn’t believe the United States had the nine votes needed to put the veto in play. With the latest change the two permanent members of the council might now be forced to use their veto.

The Trump administration said last week that it intends to seek a vote in the Security Council this week to extend the embargo, which is due to expire as part of the 2015 Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The administration left the accord in 2018, but the U.S. retains rights under a U.N. Security Council Resolution, which enshrined the deal and the U.S. has argued gives it the ability to “snap back” the embargo unilaterally, even if the Security Council does not vote for an extension.

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The U.S. says it would rather have the Security Council vote to extend the embargo, but has not ruled out acting unilaterally should the resolution fail to gather enough votes or be met by a veto from Russia or China.

“We have made it very clear that the U.S. will use every tool in our toolbox to make certain that the arms embargo is renewed,” U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft said on Fox News’ “The Story” on Monday.

A diplomatic source told Fox News that current planning would bring a vote on the U.S. resolution on Friday. And if the vote fails Friday, a U.S. official says the administration would inform the Security Council next week that it intends to trigger the snapback process.

The U.S. has been engaging in a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran in order to pressure the Iranian regime to stop its destabilizing activities in the region and its funding of terrorist groups. That has included the imposition of sanctions on Iranian institutions and top officials — as well as taking out Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in an airstike earlier this year.

Officials have warned that the expiration of the embargo would allow Iran to buy fighter jets, attack choppers, tanks, submarines and missiles with a range of up to 300 km.

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Craft on Monday said that Russia and China “are waiting to be able to sell arms to Iran” and warned that those weapons could then be exported to terror groups in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lybia and Lebanon.

“We have no other choice than to renew the arms embargo and promote peace and security around the world,” she said.

Fox News’ Rich Edson contributed to this report.



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