A day after a large majority of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives called on President Donald Trump's administration to do its best to push for an extension of a United Nations arms embargo on Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that every tool will be used to prevent the Islamic Republic from procuring more arms.
Highlighting a part of his interview with Fox News on April 29, Pompeo tweeted on Tuesday, May 5, "What the American people should know is President Donald Trump is committed to using every tool we have to prevent the Iranians from getting more conventional arms. I am convinced that we have the capacity to do that."
A day earlier, on Monday, 387 members of the House of Representatives from both sides of the aisle had urged the State Department to apply "robust diplomacy" to renew the embargo as well as travel restrictions on people aiding in Iran’s proliferation activities.
The embargo expires on October 18.
In his interview with Fox News' Shanon Bream, Secretary of State Pompeo expanded on the State Department's plan to "make sure" that the Iran arms embargo would not expire in a handful of months.
"We’re working with our British, our French partners, our friends, saying you all know this doesn’t make sense either. I think they agree with us on that. We hope the Russians and the Chinese will see it that way, too. But make no mistake about it; we’re going to use every tool we can in our diplomatic capability to ensure that that prohibition on arms sales to Iran doesn’t expire in just a handful of months," Pompeo reiterated.
However, the Islamic Republic Foreign Minister, Mohammad Java Zarif has argued that as Washington has withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, it has no right to use the same deal against Tehran.
Moscow has repeatedly noted that it will oppose the extension of the arms embargo on Tehran, and Beijing isn’t likely to go along with Washington's proposal either. China and Russia have veto power on the UN Security Council.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg News says, "Even if the embargo were to expire, plenty of obstacles remain for Iran to buy weapons. Secondary U.S. sanctions, for instance, would make any country think twice before selling to Iran. The European Union also has its own arms embargo on Iran."