FACT SHEET: U.S. Introduces Commonsense Resolution to Extend Arms Embargo on World’s Leading State Sponsor of Terrorism

August 13, 2020

FACT SHEET: U.S. Introduces Commonsense Resolution to Extend Arms Embargo on World’s Leading State Sponsor of Terrorism

The United States introduced a resolution to extend the 13-year old arms embargo on Iran. Our commonsense resolution proposes a clean rollover of the existing arms embargo.

  • The resolution reflects input from Security Council members. The United States has been committed to a fair and deliberative diplomatic process to advance this proposal.
  • The resolution is fully consistent with more than a decade of Security Council precedent. China, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom as Permanent Members of the Security Council have all voted in the past to support the same provisions we are now proposing.
  • The UN Security Council has a responsibility to maintain international peace and security. It will betray this responsibility if it opposes our reasonable proposal and allows Iran to buy and sell weapons like tanks, combat aircraft, and certain missile systems.

Middle East countries overwhelmingly support the U.S. proposal. They are calling on the Security Council to extend the arms embargo to prevent Iran from fueling more conflict.

  • The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) recently came together in an unprecedented way to call on the Security Council to extend the arms embargo. As the Secretary General of the GCC said, “we call on Members of the United Nations Security Council to uphold your mandate to maintain international peace and security and to act to maintain UN restrictions on Iran’s ability to purchase or provide arms.”
  • Israel has also called on the Security Council to support this proposal. In a letter to the Security Council, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN stated, “in light of all the Iranian regimes’ blatant violations of UN Security Council resolutions 2231 and 2140 it would be unthinkable and calamitous to allow the lifting of the arms embargo on October 18th.”

Iran continues to fuel conflict and spread terrorism across the Middle East.

  • Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. It supports partners, proxies and terrorist organizations across the Middle East, including in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, and Lebanon. These groups stockpile Iranians weapons and use them to fuel conflicts.
  • A UN report released in June by the Secretary-General confirmed weapons used to attack Saudi Arabia in September 2019 were of Iranian origin. The report also confirmed that certain arms and related materiel interdicted off the coast of Yemen in November 2019 and February 2020 were of Iranian origin. If the embargo is lifted, it will become easier for Iran to acquire new weapons and sell advanced arms to its partners and proxies.