US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed a letter by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) backing an extension of a United Nations arms embargo on Iran, just two months before it is set to expire.
In an interview with Fox News, Pompeo expressed US keenness on implementing all regulations and sanctions against Iran because its access to weapons would destabilize the Middle East and jeopardize the UAE and Saudi Arabia. He stressed that the Middle East countries should seek the truth, especially amid news circulating about possible military and commercial agreements with China.
General-Secretary Nayef al-Hajraf sent a letter to the UN Security Council on behalf of the six GCC countries, backing an extension of the arms embargo on Iran. The six countries are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar.
The GCC Secretary-General pointed out that Iran has continued to arm terrorist and sectarian organizations and movements throughout the region, the council said in a statement.
While political and diplomatic sources reported that Washington postponed submission of the draft in order to finish consultations and mobilization, they added that the draft requires a minimum of nine votes to be approved under the condition that Russia and China don't use the veto.
The US is facing international challenges inside the Security Council to persuade its members to extend the embargo, amid a tug-of-war with China and Russia as they wish to exploit this issue to push the US towards concessions.
The US warned that in case it failed to extend the embargo, then it will renew the US sanctions against Iran - a move known as snapback – this process was agreed upon when signing the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015.
Several analysts and experts believe that Trump’s administration might have no other option but to implement this mechanism. The concession at this phase – close to presidential elections - would send a negative message to democratic rivals who might exploit this in their election rallies.