Monday, August 10, 2020 3:42 a.m. EDT by
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran has rejected as “unrealistic” a call by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for the United Nations to extend an international arms embargo on Tehran that ends in October, state TV reported on Monday.
The GCC, made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, said on Sunday that Iran’s continued interference in neighbouring countries made an extension necessary.
The arms embargo is currently set to end on Oct. 18 as part of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which the United States quit in 2018.
“The GCC is currently at the apex of its incompetence and its unrealistic policies have rendered it ineffective,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told a televised news conference.
“The council, swayed by the wrong and destructive policies and behaviour of certain member states, has turned into a mouthpiece for anti-Iran elements inside and outside the region.”
U. S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the United Nations Security Council will vote this week on a U.S. bid to extend the arms embargo on Iran, despite warnings by some diplomats that the measure lacks support.
If the United States is unsuccessful in extending the embargo, it has threatened to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran under a process agreed in the 2015 deal.
In May, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened a “crushing response” if the embargo on Iranian trade of conventional arms was extended.
Iran has breached parts of the nuclear deal in response to the 2018 U.S. withdrawal and Washington’s reimposition of sanctions.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Catherine Evans)