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Monday, August 10, 2020, 16:24
Iran says GCC call for Tehran arms embargo extension 'unrealistic'
By Reuters
Monday, August 10, 2020, 16:24 By Reuters

Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, gives a press conference in the capital Tehran on May 28, 2019. (ATTA KENARE / AFP)

DUBAI - Iran has rejected as “unrealistic” a call by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for the United Nations to extend an international arms embargo on Tehran that ends in October, state TV reported on Monday.

In May, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened a “crushing response” if the embargo on Iranian trade of conventional arms was extended

The GCC, made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, said on Sunday that Iran’s continued interference in neighbouring countries made an extension necessary.

ALSO READ: US' Iran envoy quits as key UN arms embargo vote looms

The arms embargo is currently set to end on Oct 18 as part of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which the United States quit in 2018.

“The GCC is currently at the apex of its incompetence and its unrealistic policies have rendered it ineffective,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told a televised news conference.

“The council, swayed by the wrong and destructive policies and behaviour of certain member states, has turned into a mouthpiece for anti-Iran elements inside and outside the region.”

ALSO READ: US to present UN resolution next week to extend Iran arms embargo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the United Nations Security Council will vote this week on a US bid to extend the arms embargo on Iran, despite warnings by some diplomats that the measure lacks support.

If the United States is unsuccessful in extending the embargo, it has threatened to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran under a process agreed in the 2015 deal.

In May, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened a “crushing response” if the embargo on Iranian trade of conventional arms was extended.

Iran has breached parts of the nuclear deal in response to the 2018 US withdrawal and Washington’s reimposition of sanctions.

READ MORE: US expands scope of Iran metals sanctions


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