In surprise move, Omar signs AIPAC letter, urges Trump to extend Iran arms embargo

“We look forward to working with you to re-authorize these expiring UN restrictions, which are essential to protecting our national security and the American people,” the letter said.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has added her name to an AIPAC-promoted letter calling for an extension of the UN arms embargo on Iran.

The letter, which was signed by 387 of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, was authored by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) and delivered to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on May 4.

“Congresswoman Omar has consistently, for a long time, supported arms embargoes against human rights abusers,” Omar’s office told Al-Monitor. “However, that is not to say that she supports Pompeo’s tactics or that her position on sanctions has changed, or that she is not in support of the [nuclear deal]. It was just a narrow ask that we couldn’t find anything wrong with.”

Omar is the only member of the so-called “squad” to support the letter. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) all declined to add their signatures.

Omar’s decision is all the more surprising given that she made headlines last year when she accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of paying American politicians to support Israel.

The arms embargo was part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal under UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Unless the provision is extended, it will expire on October 18.

Rep. Engel said, “The UN arms embargo will be the first provision of the Iran nuclear deal to expire. This letter, supported overwhelmingly by both parties in the House, represents an imperative to reauthorize this provision.”

In the letter, the congressmen told Pompeo, “America must continue its longstanding, bipartisan leadership in order to limit Iran’s destabilizing activities throughout the world. We look forward to working with you to re-authorize these expiring UN restrictions, which are essential to protecting our national security and the American people.”

However, it does not appear that Pompeo needs any urging to support extending the restrictions.

“We’re going to make sure that come October of this year, the Iranians aren’t able to buy conventional weapons that they would be, given what President Obama and Vice President Biden have delivered to the world in that terrible deal,” Pompeo told reporters on April 29.