US threatens sanctions as UN arms embargo against Iran expires
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Sunday that the United States will slap sanctions on any individual or entity that assists Iran’s weapons program.
After a long-standing conventional arms embargo on Iran ended on Sunday despite Washington’s opposition, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of consequences for any individuals or entities that conduct arms deals with Iran.
“For the past 10 years, countries have refrained from selling weapons to Iran under various UN measures. Any country that now challenges this prohibition will be very clearly choosing to fuel conflict and tension over promoting peace and security,” Pompeo said in a Sunday statement.
“Any nation that sells weapons to Iran is impoverishing the Iranian people by enabling the regime’s diversion of funds away from the people and toward the regime’s military aims,” he added.
On the other side, spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that Pompeo’s remarks are the most important sign that not even he believes unilateral US sanctions have been successful, and no [UN sanctions] have been reinstated.
“Iran continues to believe it can operate within the framework of international agreements. What they fear is Iran’s return to the massive market of technology and arms exports,” Khatibzadeh said, adding that Iran produces 90 percent of its defense needs locally and will mostly look to export arms rather than import them.
Earlier, the UN Security Council refused in August to support a US effort to extend the arms embargo against Iran. China and Russia voted against Washington’s efforts, while even close U.S. allies such as Britain, France, and Germany abstained. Only the U.S. and the Dominican Republic voted for an extension.