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Saudi support for US push to renew Iran arms ban bitter joke: Tehran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The handout picture provided by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on June 29, 2020 shows Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir (R) speaking during a joint press conference with US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook in Riyadh. (Via AFP)

Iran says it is bitterly sarcastic to witness certain warmongering Persian Gulf Arab states throwing their weight behind the US drive to extend a UN arms embargo on the Islamic Republic, adding these states need to understand that submission to America will not make the region secure.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi was reacting on Tuesday to recent anti-Iran statements that top Saudi and Bahraini diplomats issued jointly with US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook. 

"It is surprising to see states such as Saudi Arabia -- itself a source of terrorism, extremism  and instability in the region by providing support to terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Daesh for years -- level baseless accusations at the Islamic Republic, which helped rid the regional countries of the mischief of such terror outfits," he said.

"It is a bitter joke that the countries, which have for more than five years shed the blood of thousands of Yemeni people, including women and children, support a request by the US representative, who toured the region [to gain support] for the extension of the arms embargo on our country."

Speaking at a news conference alongside Hook in Riyadh on Monday, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir claimed that Iran would "become more ferocious and aggressive" if the arms ban was lifted.

“We urge the international community to extend the embargo on selling arms to Iran and on Iran’s ability to sell arms to the world,” Jubeir said.

Later in the day, Hook traveled to Manama, where he issued a joint anti-Iran statement with Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani.

“In recognizing the grave threat posed by Iranian arms transfers in the region, and in Bahrain specifically, the United States and Bahrain call upon the United Nations Security Council to extend the arms embargo on Iran before it expires,” read the statement.

US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook (L) speaks during a joint press conference with Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani in Manama on June 29, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

The Iran arms embargo -- in place since 2006/2007 -- is set to expire on October 18 under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 that endorsed the country's 2015 nuclear deal.

The US, which unilaterally withdrew from the accord in May 2018, has recently circulated a draft resolution at the UNSC to keep the ban in place.

However, Security Council veto-holding powers Russia and China have already signaled their opposition to the US proposal.

"The time has come for these countries to stop making irrational rhetoric and blindly toeing the US line, a country which is itself an embodiment of oppression and injustice in the world, and come to the understanding that security will not be maintained through submission to the United States," Mousavi said.

"The only way to create stability and security in the region is to change their hostile behavior and turn to regional cooperation."

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are key partners in the bloody Riyadh-led military invasion of Yemen, which has already claimed in excess of 100,000 lives since it started five years ago.


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