Pompeo plans to force extension of arms embargo against Iran: NYT

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Trump's push for win with Sudan amps up pressure on Congress  Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize MORE plans to invoke a provision in the Iran nuclear agreement, which the Trump administration pulled out of in 2018, in an effort to either extend an arms embargo on Iran or reimpose even harsher United Nations (UN) sanctions, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

The secretary reportedly plans to take that route should the UN Security Council (UNSC) decline to reimpose an arms embargo against Tehran when an existing embargo expires later this year. An extension of the arms embargo is expected to be opposed by Russia.

A request for comment from the State Department from The Hill was not immediately returned. The Trump administration has pursued a campaign of maximum economic pressure against Iran, withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in favor of reimposing previously-withdrawn sanctions against Iran and pushing for European allies to do the same.

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Should the UNSC fail to reimpose the arms embargo, the Trump administration's move to invoke the 2015 deal would likely be opposed by many of the U.S.'s European allies, the Times reported, in part due simply to the fact that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE withdrew the U.S. from the Iran deal in 2018.

“We cannot allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to purchase conventional weapons in six months. President Obama should never have agreed to end the U.N. arms embargo," Pompeo said in a statement to the Times.

“We are prepared to exercise all of our diplomatic options to ensure the arms embargo stays in place at the U.N. Security Council,” he added.