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US Working With Israel To Prevent Lifting Of Iran Arms Embargo, Hook Says

Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran says the United States is working with Israel to stop the expiry of Iran arms embargo. FILE PHOTO

In a joint press conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said the United States and Israel are working in tandem to prevent a United Nations arms embargo on Iran from expiring.

The United States is set to extend the embargo which according to the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers is to expire in October. The agreement was sanctioned by the United Nations' Resolution 2231.

The United States unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement -- officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran and the remaining sides of the agreement say the United States can no longer demand a role in the implementation of the agreement – including decisions on the arms embargo – as a result.

Lifting the embargo will allow Iran to freely import fighter jets, attack helicopters, warships, submarines, large calibre artillery systems and missiles of certain range, Hook told reporters.

"Iran will then be in a position to export these weapons and their technologies to their proxies such as Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Shiite militia groups in Iraq and Shiite militant networks in Bahrain and to the Houthis in Yemen," Hook who is visiting Israel said and added: "The last thing that this region needs is more Iranian weapons".

Iran, which is accusing the U.S. of breaking its international commitments, is vehemently opposing any move to extend the arms embargo and has appealed to Russia and China for diplomatic support.

In the same press conference, Netanyahu accused Iran of continuing its nuclear weapons program and lying to the world about it. "Iran is doing all that and most of the international community is doing nothing in the face of it," he said and maintained that the international community "is doing nothing in the face of it" and even that "many countries collude in this aggression".

Netanyahu also warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that he would be "risking the future" of his regime if he allowed Iran to continue its military presence in Syria. "We will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria," the Israeli Prime Minister said.

"I say to the ayatollahs in Tehran: 'Israel will continue to take the actions necessary to prevent you from creating another terror and military front against Israel'," Netanyahu warned.