Aug 15, 2020 - World

Pompeo denounces U.N. Security Council for rejecting Iran arms embargo extension

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Austria on Aug. 14.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Austria on Aug. 14. Photo: Lisi Niesner/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the United Nations Security Council's Friday decision rejecting a U.S. resolution to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran, saying the council "failed ... to hold Iran accountable."

Why it matters: The council voted to allow a 13-year embargo designed to prevent Iran from buying and selling weapons, including aircraft and tanks, to expire this October, despite protests from the U.S., Israel and multiple Arab states, the New York Times reports.

By the numbers: Only one of the 15 countries on the Security Council, the Dominican Republic, joined the U.S. in support of the proposal.

  • America’s European allies Britain, France and Germany abstained from the vote, while Russia and China voted against the proposal and 11 countries abstained.
  • To pass, the motion needed nine yes votes and zero vetoes from the five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S.

What they're saying: "The @UN Security Council failed today to hold Iran accountable," Pompeo tweeted. "It enabled the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell deadly weapons and ignored the demands of countries in the Middle East. America will continue to work to correct this mistake."

  • European council members explained Friday they worry about Iran's access to weapons, but noted the proposal would never pass the Security Council because Russia and China had threatened to veto it before the vote, according to NYT.
  • “It would therefore not contribute to improving security and stability in the region,” Jonathan Allen, Britain’s permanent representative to the U.N., said in a statement.

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