Danon: End of UN arms embargo on Iran a threat to the region

Israel’s ambassador to the UN warns the Security Council that allowing the arms embargo on Iran to expire will threaten the entire Middle East.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Unless the United Nations renews the arms embargo on Iran, the Islamic Republic will exploit the UN inaction to escalate the arming of terrorists that will threaten the entire Middle East, Israel’s UN ambassador said Monday.

Danny Danon warned the UN Security Council that unless Security Council Resolution 2231 is renewed before it expires in October, Iran will be able to import and export weapon systems including tanks, artillery systems, warships, submarines, aircraft, missiles and other arms.

In his communication to the UN, Danon pointed out Iran’s long list of violations of the resolution, including transfers of illegal “illicit arms to its proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and recently even to Libya.”

Danon warned that weapons “freely transported throughout the Middle East and used by armed militias and terrorist groups, pose a strategic threat not only to Israel, but to the entire region.”

In April, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was making plans to ensure that Iran would not get a free hand to supply weapons to fuel conflicts in the region.

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“We will work with the UN Security Council to extend that prohibition on those arms sales and then in the event we can’t get anyone else to act, the United States is evaluating every possibility about how we might do that,” Pompeo said.

The U.S. special representative to Iran, Brian Hook, told AP Sunday the world should ignore Iran’s threats to retaliate if the arms embargo is extended, calling it a “mafia tactic.”

Hook acknowledged Iran had been violating the embargo and smuggling weapons to different terror groups in the region, but warned that if the embargo expires Iran will simply expand its arms trading in broad daylight.

“If we play by Iran’s rules, Iran wins,” Hook said. “It is a mafia tactic where people are intimidated into accepting a certain kind of behavior for fear of something far worse.”

“I don’t think anyone believes that Iran’s behavior merits loosening restrictions on their ability to move weapons,” Hook added.