US will continue to push for arms embargo on Iran: US State Department spokesperson

The United States will continue to push for the current arms embargo on Iran to be extended despite obstruction from China and Russia, said a US State Department spokesperson in an interview with Al Arabiya on Wednesday.

"We will not stop persisting. The position of the United States is clear and it is in the interest of the international community to stop the Iranian regime from these weapons, because Iran is aiming to destabilize the region and therefore we will work on finding a solution to address the Iranian regime’s activities," said US State Department official Geraldine Gassam Griffith.

The US is pushing for an extension of the United Nations arms embargo on Iran, which is set to expire in October, but has faced opposition from China and Russia, which have veto powers on the UN Security Council.

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Griffith, who is the deputy director of the US State Department's Dubai Regional Media Hub and one of the govnernment's principal Arabic-language spokespeople, pointed to Iran's attacks on Saudi Arabia and weapons exports as reasons for the extension.

"The United Nations issued a report on Resolution 2231 on the Iranian regime, and it is clear that the Iranian regime was behind the attacks on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last year. The Iranian regime exports weapons and these are grave violations of the UN resolutions," she said, referring to a recent UN report that found weapoms of "Iranian origin" were used in attacks against the Kingdom.

"The United States therefore seeks to extend the arms embargo on the Iranian regime and we encourage the United Nations Security Council and the international community to stand with us in this regard," added Griffith.

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Pressure needed on Hezbollah

Griffith also called on the international community to join the US in pressuring Iran's proxy organizations, especially Lebanese Hezbollah.

The US stands with the Lebanese people against Hezbollah, she explained, calling on the international community to take a similar position.

The US, Germany, and Saudi Arabia are among the countries that recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Despite this, the organization continues to exert influence over Lebanon's supposedly technocratic government and refuses to disarm.

Griffith also said that US sanctions were working against Tehran, which is Hezbollah's principal backer, explaining that the "maximum pressure" sanctions campaign on Iran frustrates its ability to fund proxy militias across the Middle East.

Read more: Opinion: Lebanon’s identity is under threat from the ‘Axis of Resistance’ – it needs support

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Last Update: Wednesday, 22 July 2020 KSA 14:34 - GMT 11:34
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