Craft to 'Post:' We're in talks about extending arms embargo on Iran

The arms embargo is expected to expire on October 18, and Russia and China, two permanent members of the security council that hold veto power, are currently opposed to extend it.

US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft (photo credit: SCREEN CAPTURE/UN WEB TV)
US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft
(photo credit: SCREEN CAPTURE/UN WEB TV)
WASHINGTON – The UN Security Council is gearing up for a vote to extend the arms embargo on Iran, and it is expected by the end of the week, US Ambassador Kelly Craft told The Jerusalem Post. Members of the council are still negotiating the details, she said.
“We’re still speaking with all of the council members,” Craft said. “It’s ongoing every day by the hour.”
“The feedback I’m getting [from members of the Security Council] is we all agree on wanting the same outcome, and that is to prevent Iran from being able to purchase weapons from Russia and China on October 19,” she said.
Craft would not elaborate on the details of the proposed draft. But according to Reuters, the new resolution would extend a weapons ban on Iran “until the Security Council decides otherwise,” adding that it is “essential to the maintenance of international peace and security.”
The arms embargo is expected to expire on October 18, and Russia and China, two permanent members of the Security Council that hold veto power, are currently opposed to extending it.
Russia and China have a choice to make, Craft told the Post.

“They understand that they can either be on the side of terror if they veto – then basically they are co-sponsors with the sponsor, which is Iran,” she said.
“Or they can vote for peace and world security,” she added. “The UN was founded to promote peace and security around the world. We are hoping that they will have a change of heart, and they will understand the importance of protecting the Middle East; the importance of protecting Israel. One of my main priorities is to make certain that Israel’s voice is heard.”
The US would use other tools, such as a snapback of the sanctions, if the vote fails, Craft told the Post. Russia, on the other hand, dismissed the US threats to use a snapback, arguing that since America left the Iran deal in 2018, it can’t initiate that process. According to Craft, the administration is confident that such a measure is possible.
“The United States is identified as one of the JCPOA participants under Resolution 2231,” she said, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the Iran nuclear deal. “It is stated that we retain the right to snapback. In paragraphs 11 and 12, we are listed as a signatory of the JCPOA.”
“The US has been engaged in good-faith diplomacy for years,” she said. “This is not a surprise. We’ve been talking about the renewal of the arms embargoes since December of 2018. The council has been supportive of this renewal for the last 13 years. They all felt the same way about protecting the world from allowing Iran to have access to more modernized weapons. So this should not come as a surprise to anyone.”
Addressing the situation in Lebanon, Craft said it was more important than ever that UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) fulfills its mandate.
“We will obviously be watching very closely,” she said. “We want the peacekeeping mission to have a checklist, to be transparent and be held accountable.”
The US, like Israel, has long sought to expand UNIFIL’s mandate.
“They have to fulfill the mandate and protect the people in Lebanon,” Craft said. “They have to be able to have access to the tunnels. They have got to be able to have access and to be able to come back to us and let us know exactly what is going on with Hezbollah.”
Regarding the resignation of the Lebanese government following the Beirut blast last week, she said: “What’s really important is that we make sure that we hold this new government accountable, and we have to contain Hezbollah. We have to make [happen] certain things that diminish their influence in the government.”
Craft praised Germany for declaring Hezbollah a terrorist organization and said the Security Council should also condemn it.