The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has asked the UN to extend an arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire in October. The GCC is an alliance of six Gulf states: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman.
In a statement on Sunday, the GCC said Iran’s interference in neighboring countries was reason enough to extend the embargo. “It is inappropriate to lift restrictions on the supply of weapons from and to Iran until Iran gives up its destabilizing activities in the region and stops supplying terrorist and sectarian organizations with weapons,” the GCC statement said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been leading the charge to extend the arms embargo. “If the @UN Security Council doesn’t extend the Iran arms embargo, it will make a mockery of its mission to maintain ‘international peace and security,'” Pompeo tweeted on Sunday.
Since the arms embargo is set to expire under conditions agreed to in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Pompeo has argued the embargo can be extended using “snapback” sanctions, measures to be implemented if Iran violates the 2015 deal. But the US withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 when it reimposed sanctions on Iran, and other signatories say the US cannot enforce a deal it is not a part of.
Since Russia and China are on the UN Security Council and oppose extending the arms embargo, this effort will likely fail. Both countries have said they are willing to use their veto powers on this issue, and European countries that have worked to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal may also vote against extending the embargo.