News on Iran

Most of U.S. House Urges More Diplomacy at U.N. to Renew Iran Arms Embargo: Sources

Written by OIAC

Overwhelming Bipartisan Majority of House Members Calls on Administration to Extend Iran Arms Embargo

May 4, 2020
Washington—Today, an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives called on the Trump Administration to extend the United Nations arms embargo on Iran, which is set to expire in October of this year. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel and Ranking Member Michael T. McCaul, Representative Stephanie Murphy, and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick led a group of 387 members encouraging robust diplomacy to prevent the expiration of the embargo and of U.N. travel restrictions on Iranians engaged in proliferation activities. The group of members—more than three quarters of the House—underscored that permitting Iran to buy and sell weapons would pose a grave risk to security and stability around the world.

Chairman Engel said, “The U.N. arms embargo will be the first provision of the Iran nuclear deal to expire. This letter, supported overwhelmingly by both parties in the House, represents an imperative to reauthorize this provision—not through snapback or going it alone, but through a careful diplomatic campaign. The Trump Administration has promised a better deal and it falls to the administration to solve this crisis, not make it worse. Iran continues to be a danger to the United States, our interests, and our allies. We need a realistic and practical strategy to prevent Iran from becoming a greater menace.”

Ranking Member McCaul said, “Nearly every member of the U.S. House of Representatives is in agreement: Iran must not be allowed to buy or sell weapons. This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, or even just an American issue. We need to extend the U.N. arms embargo on Iran for the sake of international peace and security. I am proud the House is speaking with one voice to protect the world against Iran’s aggressive and destabilizing behavior.”

Representative Murphy said, “Preventing the regime in Tehran from buying and selling weapons is critical for U.S. national security and for the security of U.S. allies and partners in the greater Middle East. We all look forward to the time when Iran will become a responsible member of the community of nations. Until then, we must take all reasonable steps at the national and international level to curb Iranian aggression.”

Representative Fitzpatrick said, “Time and time again, Iran has shown that they cannot be trusted. Their efforts to destabilize the region and the world will only increase if we do not extend the U.N. embargo. Iran must be prohibited from buying and selling weapons, and moreover, we must prevent Iran from increasing their influence in the region. I am proud to lead a bipartisan coalition on this urgent issue, and I am encouraged to see so many of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle add their voice in support of this critical national security matter.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

Press Release 05.04.20
Media Contact 202-226-8467
Washington D.C. —Today, an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives called on the Trump Administration to extend the United Nations arms embargo on Iran, which is set to expire in October of this year. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Foreign Affairs Committee Republican Leader Michael McCaul and Chairman Eliot L. Engel as well as Representative Stephanie Murphy and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick led a group of 387 members encouraging robust diplomacy to prevent the expiration of the embargo and of U.N. travel restrictions on Iranians engaged in proliferation activities. The group of members—more than three quarters of the House—underscored that permitting Iran to buy and sell weapons would pose a grave risk to security and stability around the world.

Lead Republican McCaul said, “Nearly every member of the U.S. House of Representatives is in agreement: Iran must not be allowed to buy or sell weapons. This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, or even just an American issue. We need to extend the U.N. arms embargo on Iran for the sake of international peace and security. I am proud the House is speaking with one voice to protect the world against Iran’s aggressive and destabilizing behavior.”

Chairman Engel said, “The U.N. arms embargo will be the first provision of the Iran nuclear deal to expire. This letter, supported overwhelmingly by both parties in the House, represents an imperative to reauthorize this provision—not through snapback or going it alone, but through a careful diplomatic campaign. The Trump Administration has promised a better deal and it falls to the administration to solve this crisis, not make it worse. Iran continues to be a danger to the United States, our interests, and our allies. We need a realistic and practical strategy to prevent Iran from becoming a greater menace.”

Representative Murphy said, “Preventing the regime in Tehran from buying and selling weapons is critical for U.S. national security and for the security of U.S. allies and partners in the greater Middle East. We all look forward to the time when Iran will become a responsible member of the community of nations. Until then, we must take all reasonable steps at the national and international level to curb Iranian aggression.”

Representative Fitzpatrick said, “Time and time again, Iran has shown that they cannot be trusted. Their efforts to destabilize the region and the world will only increase if we do not extend the U.N. embargo. Iran must be prohibited from buying and selling weapons, and moreover, we must prevent Iran from increasing their influence in the region. I am proud to lead a bipartisan coalition on this urgent issue, and I am encouraged to see so many of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle add their voice in support of this critical national security matter.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

Reuters    |    Patricia Zengerle    |    April 30, 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly 90% of U.S. House of Representatives members have signed a letter urging the Trump administration to increase its diplomatic action at the United Nations to renew an arms embargo on Iran, congressional sources said on Thursday.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, at least 382 of the 429 members of the Democratic-controlled House – Democrats and Republicans – have signed the letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to work with U.S. allies and partners to extend the embargo, as well as U.N. travel restrictions on Iranians involved with arms proliferation.

“The U.N. arms embargo is set to expire in October, and we are concerned that the ban’s expiration will lead to more states buying and selling weapons to and from Iran,” said the letter, seen by Reuters and led by Representatives Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mike McCaul, the committee’s top Republican.

“We urge you to work with allies and like-minded partners, including through a new United Nations Security Council resolution, to extend these provisions in order to prevent Iran from buying and selling weapons, while also working to increase accountability for violations of the existing embargo,” the letter said.

Congressional aides said signatures were still being collected, and the letter had not yet been sent to the State Department.

President Donald Trump’s administration has been taking a harder line with the United Nations over its desire to extend and strengthen the embargo, threatening to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran as leverage to get backing from the 15-member Security Council. Diplomats said that tactic would lead to a tough, messy battle.

Washington has shared its strategy with Britain, France and Germany, which are council members and parties to the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers that prevents Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.

Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, told a news conference on Thursday that the United States was “hopeful” the Security Council would extend the arms embargo. He also suggested that Washington did not plan to move ahead quickly with its push for the arms embargo extension.

Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, promising he would make a much better one than the pact agreed on by his predecessor, Democratic President Barack Obama.

That new and better deal has not yet materialized.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-sanctions-congress/most-of-us-house-urges-more-diplomacy-at-un-to-renew-iran-arms-embargo-sources-idUSKBN22C3MT

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