Conservative parliamentarians have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson raising their concerns over the upcoming expiration of the United Nations arms embargo on Iran. Labour Friends of Israel have also joined the calls for Britain to respond more strongly to the threat of Iran.
In a letter which was signed by more than 80 Tory politicians and peers and coordinated by Conservative Friends of Israel (CFoI), politicians warned that when the UN arms embargo against Iran ends “a volatile and unstable region of the world becomes more dangerous”.
The embargo ending on 18 October will allow Russia and China to sell Iran advanced non-nuclear weaponry in order to defend itself from any possible attack by the United States, Israel or Gulf states, with whom its proxies are already at war.
More than 80 Conservative parliamentarians have today written to Prime Minister @BorisJohnson with concerns over the upcoming expiration of the United Nations arms embargo on Iran, in a letter coordinated by @CFoI.
Read the letter here 👇 pic.twitter.com/q2ge2KfwJ4
— CFoI (@CFoI) October 15, 2020
“The end of the UN arms embargo will have far-reaching consequences for regional stability. It will embolden an already belligerent Iran and facilitate an influx of arms to Iranian proxies: Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. They intend to jeopardise the historic regional movement towards peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours. This represents a direct threat to our allies and UK interests worldwide.”
The United States has tried to extend the embargo against Iran and snap back sanctions at the United Nations without success. Israel has also been very vocal in trying to stop Iran from having access to advanced weapons that it no doubt intends to use for evil. Shamefully, the UK government appears to have sided with Iran on this issue rather than our allies Israel and the US.
“It is regrettable that the UK did not feel able to support a US effort to extend the arm0s embargo at the UN in August,” the letter continues. “This has not only caused a rift with the United States but now threatens regional peace as Iran strengthens its arms.”
The letter ends with a list of questions for the government including reassurances that the UK will apply sanctions to Iran if it continues to flout the rules and a requesting that the “UK Government proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – the principal conduit for its support of international terrorism”.
Labour Friends of Israel also share the view that the ending of the arms embargo empowers Iran and endangers Israel
Labour Friends of Israel’s chair, Steve McCabe wrote to foreign secretary Dominic Raab, to say it “is deeply troubling”, asking what Britain would do amid “this disturbing development.”
He said it is “simply incomprehensible that Iran should be rewarded” for developing new missiles, “with the ending of an arms embargo which sought to prohibit it acquiring advanced weaponry.”
“Given Iran’s constant threats against it – manifested, in part, by its support for Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad – the expiration of the embargo is hugely concerning for the State of Israel. It can also only strengthen Iran’s other nefarious activities throughout the region, further destabilising Iraq and Lebanon, and adding to the bloodshed and tragic loss of life in Syria.”