Iranian president promises ‘crushing response’ if UN arms embargo extended

Rouhani warned of harsh consequences if the arms embargo doesn’t expire.

By David Isaac, World Israel News 

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani vowed a “crushing response” in a speech on Wednesday if the UN arms embargo on Iran is extended.

“If America wants to return to the deal, it should lift all the sanctions on Tehran and compensate for the reimposition of sanctions,” Rouhani said. “Iran will give a crushing response if the arms embargo on Tehran is extended.”

The UN arms embargo is set to expire in October, 2020 under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal orchestrated by the Obama administration. The embargo includes a ban on the export of conventional weapons to Iran and the export of technology that Iran could be use in nuclear weapons development.

On April 30, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that the Iran nuclear deal set Oct. 2020 as the date when any country could sell weapons to Iran. “We’ve seen their bad behavior,” he said. “That was nuts.”

Pompeo said that day at a press conference that the U.S. will use every means available to extend the arms embargo. He stressed that the U.S. wouldn’t let the embargo expire in October.

“We’re going to make sure that come October of this year, the Iranians aren’t able to buy conventional weapons,” he said.

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Rouhani appeared to hold out a fig leaf, suggesting that it was possible to return to the deal. “Iran’s nuclear steps are reversible if other parties to the deal fulfill their obligations and preserve Tehran’s interests under the pact,” Rouhani said.

The U.S. pulled out of the nuclear agreement in 2018. Iran began to ignore the deal’s provisions thereafter, including enriching uranium.

Tensions between Iran and the U.S. continue to run high. Iran has harassed U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and shot down a U.S. Navy drone it claimed was flying in its airspace. The U.S. in turn assassinated Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.