GCC urges UN to extend Iran arms embargo 

The GCC — flag pictured — is comprised of six Arab Gulf nations: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. (File/AP)
Short Url
Updated 10 August 2020

GCC urges UN to extend Iran arms embargo 

  • Letter from head of GCC says an extension is imperative to “ensure and preserve peace” in the Middle East.

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has asked the UN to extend an international arms embargo on Iran.

A letter sent by the GCC’s secretary general, Nayef Al-Hajraf, to the Security Council cites Tehran’s support for terrorism and its hostile actions against neighbouring countries as reasons to back an extension.

The embargo prevents the movement of conventional weaponry in and out of Iran, and is set to expire on Oct. 18 as part of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The agreement with international powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), provided sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for the regime curtailing its nuclear program.

In the letter, Al-Hajraf, points out that, in violation of the deal, Iran has “continued to proliferate conventional weapons and armed terrorist and sectarian organizations and movements throughout the region.”

It also said Tehran “has not desisted from armed interventions in neighboring countries, directly and through organizations and movements armed and trained by Iran.”

The embargo’s restrictions, the letter states, are “imperative to ensure and preserve peace and stability in this region.”

The US has also been pushing heavily for an extension to the arms embargo, warning that lifting it could have dire consequences.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the GCC letter, saying it showed Middle East countries supported extending the embargo.

"The GCC’s letter calling on the UN Security Council to extend the arms embargo on Iran is a bold statement," he said, "The US will introduce a resolution this week to extend the embargo after years of diplomacy. The Council must choose between arming terrorists or standing by the Gulf."

In June, Pompeo cautioned that, if the embargo is terminated, “Iran will be able to purchase advanced weapons systems” and would “become an arms dealer of choice for terrorists and rogue regimes all throughout the world.”

Pompeo added: “This is unacceptable.”

Russia and China, two of the permanent five members of the UN’s Security Council with veto power, want the arms embargo to lift as scheduled on Oct. 18.

Should that happen, the US has warned that it could introduce “snap back” sanctions built into the original 2015 deal, unilaterally restoring all UN sanctions on Tehran.


UN’s Libya mission praises Libyan rivals for holding direct talks in Egypt

Updated 15 min 52 sec ago

UN’s Libya mission praises Libyan rivals for holding direct talks in Egypt

  • The security and military talks were taking place in Hurghada and were facilitated by the UN’s Libya mission

CAIRO: Military and police teams from Libya’s rival administrations held talks in Egypt on Monday as part of attempts to resolve the conflict.
The security and military talks were taking place in Hurghada and were facilitated by the UN’s Libya mission, UNSMIL. 
France said it welcomed the direct talks between Libyan parties.
The UNSMIL also thanked Egypt for hosting the talks, and the Libyan delegations who “demonstrated a positive and proactive attitude aimed at de-escalation of the situation in central Libya.”
The talks are part of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission which started meeting in February. It consists of five senior military officers from each side of the conflict.
Libya split into two rival administrations after the downfall of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
The capital Tripoli is controlled by the Government of National Accord, while in the east, a rival government backed my military command Khalifa Haftar holds sway.