The United States has introduced a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council to extend a soon-to-expire arms embargo on Iran.

The move is expected to fail, according to diplomats, and could imperil the nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.

The conventional arms embargo is set to end on October 18, under a provision of UN Resolution 2231, in which the Security Council backed the Iran nuclear deal signed in Vienna in 2015.

The US, in a new, streamlined resolution, seen by dpa, seeks to extend the arms embargo indefinitely. Washington argues that Iran would become a “rogue weapons dealer” if the restrictions were lifted.

Russia and China, two veto-wielding council members, have voiced strong opposition to the US bid.

Once a vote is called, Security Council members will have 24 hours to submit their responses, under remote-working rules.

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If the resolution is defeated, Washington has threatened to trigger the “snapback” mechanism in the Vienna deal, which allows participants to claim “significant non-performance” by another party to restore all UN sanctions on Iran.

Such a move could kill the Vienna agreement, which was intended to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

Critics argue that Washington has no right to trigger the snapback, since President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions.

The accord, reached between Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US, began to fray after Washington’s withdrawal, and Tehran began violating many of the agreements.

DPA

Vanguard News Nigeria

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