Iran on Saturday said the United States suffered a humiliating defeat with the UN Security Council’s refusal to extend an arms embargo on Tehran, while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the action a “serious mistake.”
In a UN Security Council vote on Friday on the US effort to extend the world body’s arms embargo on Iran, Russia and China voted against, while 11 members abstained including France, Germany and Britain. The United States and the Dominican Republic were the only votes in favour.
The UN arms embargo on Iran is due to expire under a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, which provided for many international sanctions against Iran being lifted in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme. Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018.
“I don’t remember the United States preparing a resolution for months to strike a blow at the Islamic Republic of Iran, and it garners only one vote,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech. “But the great success was that the United States was defeated in this conspiracy with humiliation.”
The United States could now follow through on a threat to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran using a provision in the nuclear deal, known as snapback. Diplomats have said the United States could do this as early as next week, but that it would face a tough, messy battle.
The Security Council vote followed a proposal made by Russian President Vladimir Putin for a summit of world leaders to avoid “confrontation” over the American threat to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Tehran.
(with inputs from agencies)