6 Gulf Arab international locations again extending UN arms embargo on Iran

Dubai, August 10

A six-nation bloc of Gulf Arab nations torn aside by inside strife endorsed an extension of a United Nations arms embargo on Iran, simply two months earlier than it’s set to run out.

The Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday despatched a letter to the UN Security Council backing an extension of an arms embargo that’s saved Iran from buying foreign-made weapons like fighter jets, tanks and warships.

The GCC — comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — alleged Iran had “not ceased or desisted from armed interventions in neighboring countries, directly and through organisations and movements armed and trained by Iran”.

A Saudi-led coalition continues to battle Yemen’s Houthi rebels, whom the UN, the US and armament specialists have accused of receiving arms from Iran. Tehran denies arming the Houthis, at the same time as Iranian armaments and parts have repeatedly turned up in Yemen.

The letter additionally stated Iran arms Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon and Syria and allegedly supplies weapons to Shiite militias in Iraq and “terrorist groups” in Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

“UN restrictions establish a consensus understanding of the threat to peace and stability Iranian proliferation represents,” the GCC stated within the letter signed by General-Secretary Nayef al-Hajraf on behalf of the bloc.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the GCC letter and referred to as it an “irresponsible” assertion that serves US pursuits, Iranian state TV reported.

Mousavi additionally criticised the Gulf Arab international locations for being “among the largest arms buyers in the region and the world,” even amid the financial downturn attributable to the coronavirus pandemic.

The UN banned Iran from shopping for main overseas weapon programs in 2010 amid tensions over its nuclear programme. That blocked Iran from changing its ageing tools, a lot of which had been bought by the shah earlier than the 1979 Islamic Revolution. An earlier embargo focused Iranian arms exports.

Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal noticed the UN comply with sundown the arms embargo this October. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the deal in 2018, a part of a most stress marketing campaign that’s harm Iran’s already-ailing economic system and led to a collection of escalating incidents within the Mideast.

The GCC letter additionally talked about Iran’s shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger aircraft in January and its navy by chance killing 19 sailors in a missile strike throughout an train. Iran is also suspected of launching a September assault on the guts of Saudi Arabia’s oil trade, although Tehran denies that.

That the GCC provided a unified assertion on Iran comes because it stays torn by the continuing Qatar disaster, which noticed Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates reduce diplomatic ties and launch a boycott of the nation starting in 2017.

Kuwait has sought to mediate the disaster, although its 91-year-old emir now could be hospitalised within the US affected by an undisclosed ailment.

Amid the disaster, Qatar has had hotter ties with Iran and used its airspace whereas sharing an enormous offshore oil and fuel discipline with Tehran.

The small nation is dwelling to the huge Al-Udeid Air Base, dwelling to the ahead headquarters of the US army’s Central Command. Oman, which noticed its long-serving sultan die earlier this yr, lengthy has had shut ties to Iran and has served as an interlocutor between Tehran and the West.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates lengthy have considered Iran much more suspiciously, accusing it of stirring up dissent amongst Shiite populations within the area.

The unified GCC assertion comes after current visits by outgoing US particular consultant for Iran Brian Hook amid the pandemic. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised the letter early Monday.

“The US will introduce a resolution this week to extend the embargo after years of diplomacy,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter. The Security Council “must choose between arming terrorists or standing by the” GCC. — AP

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