Pompeo urges renewal of UN arms embargo against Iran

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the UN to renew its arms embargo against Iran before it expires on Oct. 18. (AFP/File Photo)
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Updated 30 July 2020

Pompeo urges renewal of UN arms embargo against Iran

  • US Secretary of State warned that Iran remains a threat to Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, Israel and the West

CHICAGO: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the UN to renew its arms embargo against Iran before it expires on Oct. 18, during testimony at Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the State Department’s annual budget.

Pompeo warned that Iran remains a threat to Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, Israel and the West, and pushed to continue sanctions against Iran’s Lebanese proxy Hezbollah.

The State Department’s operating budget of nearly $41 billion includes funds for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), but Pompeo made no mention of the possibility of restoring USAID funding to Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation.

“We’ve rallied nations to our side through diplomacy — witness the designations of Hezbollah from European and South American countries,” Pompeo told Senate committee members on Thursday. “And we’ve bolstered our military readiness vis-a-vis Tehran.”

Pompeo said more needs to be done to confront Iran and prevent it from spreading terrorism and violence worldwide.

“The Security Council must renew the UN arms embargo against Iran before it expires on Oct. 18,” he added.

“Iran already mines ships in the Strait of Hormuz, launches missiles at Saudi oil facilities and ships arms to the Houthis. Should the Security Council fail to act, Iran will have a freer hand to sow destruction across the Middle East and indeed the world.”

Pompeo called for an indefinite renewal of the arms embargo against Iran during an appearance at the Security Council last month.

But he was rebuffed by the Russian and Chinese governments, while American allies seemed ambivalent about the idea.

Pompeo denounced Iran’s regime as “authoritarian” and as “an aggressor and not a victim.” He said of US efforts to confront Iran: “We’ve gone full bore on our maximum-pressure campaign. Since May of 2018, we’ve slashed the vital oil revenues the regime uses for terrorism and illegal nuclear activities by 90 percent.”


UAE, Israel discuss energy, infrastructure cooperation

Updated 24 September 2020

UAE, Israel discuss energy, infrastructure cooperation

  • They discussed possible investment opportunities in renewable energies

DUBAI/JERUSALEM: The energy ministers of the UAE and Israel discussed possible cooperation and investment opportunities, including natural gas exports to Europe, in a video call on Wednesday, Emirates state news agency WAM reported.
A statement said the two minster discussed possible investment opportunities in energy, infrastructure, oil, gas and renewable energy, as the UAE plans to the shift toward green energies.
During the call, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail Al-Mazroui “reviewed the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which is the first unified energy plan in the country that balances production and consumption aspects and global environmental obligations and ensures a comfortable economic environment for growth in all sectors.”
The two sides also focused on advanced technology companies in the field of energy and cybersecurity.
Israel and the UAE signed an agreement on Sept. 15 to establish diplomatic relations, an accord that Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in the statement presented a “historic opportunity” for energy development in the region.
“I spoke (with the UAE energy minister) on cooperating in linking power grids and developing the natural gas market for exports via pipeline to Europe ... as well as other projects,” an Israeli statement quoted Steinitz as saying.
The statement, released by Steinitz’s office, said he proposed the UAE join an Egypt-based energy forum that seeks to promote natural gas exports from the east Mediterranean.
“They (the UAE) said they would examine the issue,” the Israeli statement said.
Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Jordan signed a charter on Tuesday establishing the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF).
The group unites regional rivals of Turkey, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with European Union members Greece and Cyprus over gas drilling rights in the region.
(With Reuters)