Conflicts in Syria, elsewhere will intensify if Iran arms embargo lifted: Hook

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The US special representative for Iran on Sunday sought to rally Gulf allies as Washington tried to extend an arms embargo on Tehran, warning failure would “intensify” regional conflicts.

“I’ve spoken with leaders here in the Gulf and around the world -- no one believes that Iran should be able to freely buy and sell conventional weapons such as fighter jets... and various kinds of missiles,” Brian Hook told journalists in an online briefing while on a visit to Qatar.

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The United States has urged the UN Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran that expires in October.

The extension is opposed by veto-wielding Russia and China, which stand to gain major arms contracts from Iran.

“If the Security Council fails to extend the arms embargo by October 18, Iran will be able to freely buy and sell these weapons,” Hook said.

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“Imagine what the region will look like if this happens, conflicts in places like Syria and Yemen will certainly intensify.”

US arch-foe Iran is a key player on the side of the Syrian government in the country’s conflict and is aligned with Houthi militia in Yemen fighting the government, supported by the Arab coalition.

Washington has warned it could employ a disputed legal move to restore wide UN sanctions on Iran if the Security Council does not prolong a ban on conventional arms sales to the Islamic republic.

The US envoy will visit Kuwait on the next leg of his trip, having already visited Tunisia, a current member of the Security Council.

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