Iran arms embargo lapse would 'intensify' regional violence: US envoy



A truck carrying an Iranian Valfajr torpedo takes part in a military parade marking the annual National Army Day in Tehran, on April 18th, 2019. [AFP]

The US special representative for Iran on Sunday (July 26th) sought to rally Gulf allies as Washington tried to extend an arms embargo on Tehran, warning failure would "intensify" regional conflicts.

"I have spoken with leaders here in the Gulf and around the world -- no one believes that Iran should be able to freely buy and sell conventional weapons such as fighter jets... and various kinds of missiles," Brian Hook said.

The US has urged the UN Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran that expires in October.

The extension is opposed by veto-wielding Russia and China, which stand to gain major arms contracts from Iran.

"If the Security Council fails to extend the arms embargo by October 18th, Iran will be able to freely buy and sell these weapons," Hook said.

"Imagine what the region will look like if this happens, conflicts in places like Syria and Yemen will certainly intensify."

Iran is a key player on the side of the Syrian regime in that country's conflict and backs the Houthis (Ansarallah) who are fighting the government in Yemen.

Washington has warned it could employ a disputed legal move to restore wide UN sanctions on Iran if the Security Council does not prolong a ban on conventional arms sales to the Islamic republic.

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