The US had hoped to extend the embargo past the deadline of October 18 but both Russia and China rejected the motion in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The other permanent members of the UNSC – the UK and France – also failed to support the extension of the embargo despite Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s dire warnings. The arms embargo has stopped the Islamic Republic from importing or exporting any kind of weapon.
Due to this, the nuclear programme has been severely inhibited, thus leading to President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani claiming the US had suffered another political defeat.
Ahead of the meeting, Mr Pompeo had warned the Islamic Republic could become a de facto arms dealer to enemy nations such as North Korea or groups in Syria and Afghanistan.
Mr Pompeo said ahead of the decision: “Iran is already violating the arms embargo, even before its expiration date.
“Imagine if Iranian activity were sanctioned, authorized by this group, if the restrictions are lifted.
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“Iran will be free to become a rogue weapons dealer, supplying arms to fuel conflicts from Venezuela, to Syria, to the far reaches of Afghanistan.”
UN officials had also presented information claiming missiles used on Saudi Arabian oil facilities last September had been made in Iran.
With the West insisting the Islamic Republic is trying to destabilise the region, several nations called for the 2015 nuclear deal to be resurrected.
While supporting the 2015 deal, representatives from the UK, France and Germany also hit out at the American approach of threatening a snapback clause from the deal.
Iran news: Mike Pompeo warned against ending the sanctions
Under this clause, if Iran is deemed to have violated the agreements, full penalties could be used without needing a vote from the UNSC.
However, China, who used its UNSC veto alongside Russia, claimed the sanctions should end while also claiming a snapback clause is no longer legitimate.
Ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun said: “China opposes the US push for extending the arms embargo on Iran.
“Having quit the JCPOA, the US is no longer a participant and has no right to trigger a snapback at the UN”
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The 2015 Joint Plan of Action Agreement was signed to limit Iran’s efforts to develop its nuclear programme.
Under the accord, Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow international inspectors into its facilities.
Mr Trump withdrew from the accords in 2018 claiming he would negotiate a better deal.
Iran has since ended its compliance with the agreement and has claimed it has exceeded previous levels.
The Islamic Republic further stated it would not comply with the agreement following the assassination of Revolutionary Guard general, Qassem Soleimani in January.
While the UN embargo is scheduled to end in October, the US still has crippling economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Iran: UN officials claimed the missiles had been made by Iran
Under the sanctions, Iran cannot buy US dollars, certain minerals, trade in gold while the oil and shipping industries have also been restricted.
Illustrating the pursuit to limit the country’s economic capability the US has also seized four oil tanks sailing towards Venezuela this week.