Pompeo warns of 'new turmoil' if U.N. arms embargo on Iran lifted in 2020




  • In US
  • 2019-08-20 20:09:41Z
  • By By Michelle Nichols

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed the international community on Tuesday to work out how to stop Iran from being "unshackled to create new turmoil" when a United Nations arms embargo on the country and a travel ban on the head of Iran's elite Quds Force expire in October 2020.

Speaking at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Middle East peace and security challenges, Pompeo called for greater cooperation in the region to produce "fresh thinking to solve old problems," citing problems including the Libyan and Syrian conflicts and a rift between several Gulf states and Qatar.

He also singled out Iran. Tensions between Tehran and Washington have risen since President Donald Trump's administration last year quit an international deal to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions and began to ratchet up sanctions.

"Since the U.S. declared our intention to bring all Iranian oil purchases to zero in April, the Ayatollah has gone all-in on a campaign of extortion diplomacy," he said, calling out Iran for breaching caps imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal, test-firing a ballistic missile and seizing tankers in the Strait of Hormuz.

Under the Iran nuclear deal, a U.N. arms embargo on the country and a travel ban on Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani are due to expire next year. The Quds Force is the overseas arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Pompeo said the U.S. State Department had put a clock on its website that was counting down to the removal of the measures.

"The international community will have plenty of time to see how long it has until Iran is unshackled to create new turmoil, and figure out what it must do to prevent this from happening," he said.

At a U.N. Security Council meeting in December, Pompeo urged the 15-member body to prevent Iran from working on ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, carrying out test launches and establish "inspection and interdiction measures, in ports and on the high seas, to thwart Iran's continuing efforts to circumvent arms restrictions."

The council has not, and is unlikely to take any action on Iran. European powers have been scrambling to salvage the nuclear deal, while diplomats say Russia and China - which are council veto powers along with the United States, France and Britain - are likely to shield Iran from any action.

The U.S. special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, signaled earlier on Tuesday that the United States would not try to trigger a return of all international sanctions on Iran through a dispute resolution process agreed under the nuclear deal and enshrined in a 2015 U.N. Security Council resolution.

Although the United States quit the nuclear deal, some diplomats have questioned whether Washington might still spark a so-called snapback of sanctions on Tehran at the Security Council because the U.N. resolution still names it as a party to the deal.

"We're no longer in the deal and so the parties that are still in the deal will have to make their decisions with respect to using or not using the dispute resolution mechanism," Hook told reporters in New York. "There's no question that Iran is in breach of the Iran nuclear deal."


(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Peter Cooney)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Health officials worry as untraceable virus clusters emerge
Health officials worry as untraceable virus clusters emerge
  • World
  • 2020-02-22 04:26:53Z

In South Korea, Singapore and Iran, clusters of infections are leading to a jump in cases of the new viral illness outside China. World Health Organization officials said China's crackdown on parts of the country bought time for the rest of the world to prepare for the new virus. "A number of spot fires, occurring around the world is a sign that things are ticking along, and what we are going to have here is probably a pandemic," said Ian Mackay, who studies viruses at Australia's University of Queensland.

Number of US troops wounded in Iran attack now at 110: Pentagon
Number of US troops wounded in Iran attack now at 110: Pentagon
  • World
  • 2020-02-22 01:34:39Z

The number of US troops who sustained traumatic brain injury when Iran launched missiles at their base in Iraq last month has risen to 110, the Pentagon said Friday. All of the wounded were diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury, the Pentagon said in a statement, adding that 77 had already returned to duty. President Donald Trump had initially said that no Americans were hurt in the strike on the Ain al-Asad base in western Iraq on the night of January 7-8, although authorities later reported that nearly a dozen troops were wounded.

Touring US troops to Saudi Arabia, Pompeo touts
Touring US troops to Saudi Arabia, Pompeo touts 'maximum pressure' on Iran amid heightened tensions
  • World
  • 2020-02-20 14:52:00Z

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo toured with American troops deployed by President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia, as tensions with Iran remain high over crippling aggression and U.S. sanctions, less than two months after the countries stood on the brink of war.

Russia opposes UN declaration calling for Syria ceasefire: diplomats
Russia opposes UN declaration calling for Syria ceasefire: diplomats

Russia on Wednesday objected to the UN Security Council adopting a statement that would have called for a ceasefire in northwest Syria, diplomats said, after a tense closed-door meeting. "We tried very hard to have a press statement calling for cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access to Idlib," Nicolas de Riviere, French ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters.

Pompeo says
Pompeo says 'mature, responsible countries' don't 'restrict speech' after China expels reporters

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is condemning China for its decision to expel three reporters from The Wall Street Journal from the country."Mature, responsible countries understand that a free press reports facts and expresses opinions," Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday. "The correct response is to present counter arguments, not restrict speech."This came after China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said three journalists from the Journal would have their credentials revoked over the paper's recent headline, "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia," The New York Times reports. The reporters weren't actually involved with the article, which was an opinion...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US