European countries will be making a choice between “voting for terror” or voting for “peace and security in the world” as a they decide on a revised resolution drafted by the United States that would extend a UN arms embargo on Iran indefinitely, according to US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft.
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“What’s going to be acceptable is to make certain that Iran does not have access to more modernized weapons in order for them to export these weapons,” Craft told Al Arabiya. “These are lethal weapons to terrorist groups and to other malicious actors.”
Council diplomats said the revised draft could be put in a final form to the UN Security Council Thursday and put to a vote Friday.
The arms embargo on Iran
The current arms embargo on Iran is set to expire on October 18, 2020. The US has proposed extending the ban indefinitely, saying that Iran should not be allowed to buy weapons due to its sponsorship of terrorist and proxy organizations across the region and other destabilizing activities.
If the council votes not to extend the embargo, Washington has threatened to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran under the nuclear deal.
The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman - also support extending the ban.
"It is inappropriate to lift restrictions on the supply of weapons from and to Iran until Iran gives up its destabilizing activities in the region and stops supplying terrorist and sectarian organizations with weapons," a statement from GCC Secretary General Nayef Falah Mubarak al-Hajraf said on Sunday.
On the other hand, Iranian officials have recently threatened to rip up the nuclear deal and continue regional destabilization if the arms embargo is extended.
Russia and China, who have veto powers in the UN Security Council, are expected to oppose the extension of the ban.
- With the Associated Press