Pompeo: US trying to prevent Iran from becoming arms dealer

Secretary of State says U.S. filed new sanctions in bid to block Iran from become arms dealer for China, Russia.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Sunday that provisions of the Iran nuclear deal that are about to expire would permit the Islamic Republic to become a “really dangerous” weapons broker for the Russians and the Chinese.

“We filed some new sanctions just this Friday. We expanded sanctions on their metals programs,” Pompeo said during an interview with Maria Bartiromo of Fox News.

“In October, we have a significant provision of the JCPOA that expires, the first major provision to expire,” Pompeo said. “It will allow the Chinese and Russians to sell weapons systems to Iran and allow Iran to sell those weapon systems and other arms around the world as well.”

Pompeo was referring to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action deal reached with Iran that gave a temporary ban on Iranian nuclear development, widely believed to be for the purpose of building a nuclear weapons arsenal. However, because the JCPOA was time limited and allowed Iran to resume its nuclear program after 15 years, President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018.

“The United States has been working since 2018 to try to stop this provision from expiring, and the United Nations in the next handful of days will present a Security Council resolution aimed at doing just that,” Pompeo said.

“I hope the whole world can understand that allowing Iran to buy and sell weapons is really, really dangerous,” Pompeo added.

In separate comments, the Secretary slammed China for using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse for postponing the scheduled Sept. 6 Hong Kong elections.

“The reason for the delay is that the Chinese Communist Party candidates would be crushed and the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong would prevail,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo said the election cancellation was part of the wider threat posed by the government of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, including “increased denial of freedom for people in their own country, and then extending that now to people outside their country.”

“It has extra-territorial provisions in it saying that someone who so much as speaks against freedom in Hong Kong has violated the national security law and is under threat from the Chinese communist party.”

Pompeo was a bit upbeat, saying, “I think the whole world sees this” threat.

“All across the world countries are coming to understand the challenges that the Chinese communist party presents and that the United States will be there to lead this push to assure that the next century remains a free and democratic century, not one that is governed by the rules of the road laid down by this communist regime,” Pompeo said.