Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that the international community must “find a way of extending the arms embargo” on Iran, ahead of the scheduled expiry of the United Nations (UN) arms embargo in October 2020.
During an online discussion on Thursday between Mr Hunt and the US Special Representative for Iran, Brian H. Hook, hosted by the Henry Jackson Society, the former Cabinet Minister emphasised that “nobody can afford to allow Iran to go back to buying arms”.
According to a statement released by Conservative Friends of Israel, Mr Hunt also expressed his concerns over Iran’s regional aggression, stating that Iran “does not have the right to destabilise its neighbours in the way it has been doing”. Regarding the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Conservative MP for South West Surrey underlined: “I don’t have any doubt at all that they are sponsoring terrorism all over the region and that’s what we have to stop”, noting that “the IRGC effectively controls the Iranian regime”.
Mr Hook said that the US had drafted a resolution to extend the embargo and was working to gain international support.
Mr Hunt emphasised that the UK Government should support the US approach: “What we have to recognise is that the Iranian regime is under pressure that is being driven by the US regime, and we should not be doing anything that reduces that pressure because we’re more likely to get a result if that pressure continues”.
In line with UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which underpins the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), the UN conventional arms embargo on Iran is due to expire in October 2020, though the EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions will remain in place until 2023.
The UK Government has confirmed it is “consulting partners on the broader implications of the UN arms embargo expiry and [will] encourage all states to implement national export control best practice”.
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