- This letter is particularly significant in two ways.
- The United States has drafted a resolution that China and Russia are expected to veto.
- Much of the conflict in Yemen is the result of the Islamic Republic's illegal sending of weapons and military equipment to Houthi rebels.
Bloomberg News reported on August 9th, that it had a copy of a letter sent by the Gulf Cooperation Council to the United Nations Security Council. The letter called on the Security Council to extend the arms embargo against Iran, which expires in October, ending its five-year term.
The move comes in the wake of US efforts to persuade China and Russia not to veto a resolution. The Donald Trump administration last month drafted a resolution to extend sanctions on Iran, which was not put to a vote and is now back on the agenda with minor changes.
According to the report, the six Gulf Arab states wrote a letter to the Security Council calling for further measures to prevent “destabilizing proliferation of Iranian weapons,” in addition to the extension of arms embargoes.
Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia stressed in the letter that these measures could be deliberate freezing of assets and a travel ban on individuals sending, selling, or transferring weapons and related materials from Iran or to Iran.
The members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in a letter signed by the Secretary-General of the Council, Nayef Fallah Mubarak Al-Hijrf, claim that the Islamic Republic continues to send weapons to all countries in the region as part of its expansionist policies and interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries. By doing so, Iran is violating the UN Charter.
Two Notable Features of the Letter of the Arab Countries
This letter is particularly significant in two ways. The first is the timing of its submission, which coincides with the presentation of a draft resolution proposed by the United States. The second is the joint cooperation and unanimity of the six Gulf states after about three years of tension between them, especially over Qatar.
The efforts of Brian Hook, the former US State Department representative to Iran, who recently began consultations with the Gulf Arab states, have apparently played a role in their joint action.
Of the six Gulf states, Qatar has closer ties with the Islamic Republic, especially after disagreements with four GCC countries. Oman normally remains neutral in regional disputes, but has repeatedly spoken out between Iran and the West, including to start nuclear talks.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a few days ago that a proposed US resolution extending the arms embargo on Iran would be formally submitted to the Security Council next week.
The Role of Iranian Weapons in the Continuation of the Yemeni Conflict
He says much of the conflict in Yemen is the result of the Islamic Republic’s illegal sending of weapons and military equipment to Houthi rebels. Iran denies sending weapons to Yemeni Houthis. However, so far there is ample evidence.
The UN Secretary-General also confirmed in one of his most recent reports that some Houthi weapons in the attack on Saudi oil facilities were of “Iranian origin.”
The proposed US resolution is scheduled to be considered by the Security Council on Tuesday, August 11. AFP reported yesterday, quoting diplomatic sources, that the resolution would not be passed due to opposition from some countries.
Senior US officials have repeatedly stated that if the resolution is not passed, they will extend arms embargoes on Iran in any way possible. The three European parties to the nuclear deal agreed to this for at least a limited period.
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of the Islamic Republic, had recently said that with the extension of the arms embargo, “eternal death” will come.