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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.

Go deeper: U.S. threatens to veto UN peacekeeping in Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Go deeper

Nov 18, 2020 - World

Exclusive: Biden must consult Gulf states before new Iran deal, Bahrain foreign minister says

Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani of Bahrain told me in an exclusive interview that he expects the Biden administration to consult Bahrain and other Gulf countries before moving toward a new nuclear deal with Iran.

Why it matters: The comments, made during Zayani's historic visit to Jerusalem today, reflect the concerns of other Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE about Biden's desire to revive the existing nuclear deal and potentially negotiate a new one.

Nov 18, 2020 - World

Israel's plan to influence Biden on Iran

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Israel is drafting a strategy for engaging with the incoming Biden administration on Iran, two Israeli officials tell me.

What they're saying: “We don’t want to be left out again," Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told the Knesset foreign relations committee in a classified hearing last week. He said Israel had to avoid the mistakes that left it isolated as the Obama administration negotiated the 2015 Iran deal.

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.