US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said the United Nations Security Council rejected a US bid to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran, calling the rebuff “inexcusable.”
In a statement, which came shortly before the Security Council was due to announce the result of the vote, he said the body “paved the way for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell conventional weapons without specific UN restrictions in place for the first time in over a decade.”
The result had been widely expected due to strong opposition from veto-wielding council members Russia and China, as well as resistance from European countries.
The arms embargo is set to end in October, under a provision in a UN resolution in which the Security Council backed the 2015 deal between Tehran and six world powers that aims to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
In the case of a defeat, Washington has threatened to trigger the “snapback” mechanism in the nuclear accord to restore all UN sanctions on Iran.