By The National
The Iranian regime wants there to be “endless war” in Yemen, the top US official on Iran claimed on Wednesday as he lobbied leaders in London to back an extension to the UN Security Council’s arms embargo on Tehran.
Brian Hook said an EU embargo, which expires in 2023, was insufficient. The Security Council restrictions are set to end in October but the US has proposed extending it indefinitely. The continued embargo is unlikely to pass because council veto-powers Russia and China have already signalled their opposition to the move.
“Nobody believes that Iran should be able to buy or sell conventional weapons like fighter jets, battle tanks, large calibre artillery systems, warships and various kinds of missiles,” Mr Hook said.
“Iran would like to see endless war on Saudi Arabia’s southern flank in Yemen,” Mr Hook told a briefing in London, according to The Guardian newspaper. Iran continues to back Houthi rebels in Yemen.
He suggested that the region would be more unstable if the arms embargo was allowed to expire and said freedom of navigation in the Arabian Gulf would be under greater threat.
“It’s great that Europe has these sanctions in place, but what we need is a global embargo, and if you do not have a global embargo it allows Iran to purchase these weapons,” Mr Hook said.
“The question in front of the international community is not whether the international arms embargo should be extended, but how and when.”
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have ratcheted up since US President Donald Trump came to power after Mr Trump withdrew from a 2015 deal to limit Iranian nuclear ambitions and reimposed sanctions on Iran.