POMPEO: “The United States will never allow the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism to freely buy and sell planes, tanks, missiles, and other kinds of conventional weapons.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Thursday that the U.S. moved to restore all U.N. sanctions on Iran, saying Tehran violated a nuclear deal it struck with world powers in 2015 - the same deal that Washington abandoned two years ago - arguing, in part, that its limitations on Iran's nuclear activities were inadequate.
POMPEO: “Today’s actions put additional pressure on Iran to behave like a normal country and to come back to the bargaining table.”
The United States submitted a letter to the 15-member U.N. Security Council accusing Tehran of non-compliance, in theory starting a 30-day process that could lead to the "snapback" of U.N. sanctions.
However, major powers such as Russia, France, Germany and the UK said they do not support the U.S. effort to try to restore sanctions.
POMPEO: "Our friends in Germany, France and the United Kingdom - the E3 - all told me privately they don't want the arms embargo lifted either. And yet today in the end they provide no alternatives, no options. No country but the United States has had the courage and conviction to put forward a resolution. Instead they chose to side with Ayatollahs."
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the Security Council that Washington had no right to trigger the "snapback" because it was no longer a party to the pact.
Russia backed the Iranian stance.
POMPEO: “As for decisions other nations make, they’re sovereign countries they get to make their own choices, but make no mistake about it, it is an enormous mistake not to extend this arms embargo. It’s nuts, right. And I haven’t heard privately from any country that thinks it’s wise. Except for perhaps, from Iran.”
The U.N. arms embargo is currently set to expire in October.