Pompeo said Iran would also be free to upgrade and expand its submarine fleet and to purchase advanced technologies for its Middle East proxies including Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, and Yemen’s Houthi Shiite rebels.
And it will be free “to become a rogue weapons dealer, supplying arms to fuel conflicts from Venezuela, to Syria, to the far reaches of Afghanistan,” he said.
Zarif refuted many of the findings of the report and accused the U.S. of “maliciously” raising matters extraneous to the nuclear agreement, “such as Iran’s defensive capabilities and regional policies,” which are also “parroted by a handful of its allies and clients.”
He said these issues were deliberately left out of the deal because both sides disagreed on certain issues. He pointed to the U.S. unwillingness to address “our grave concerns over its unfathomable level of arms sales and build-up in our neighborhood” and its interventions in the Middle East.
Pompeo said he detailed only a fraction of “the overwhelming evidence” against Iran and told the council that the U.S. call to maintain the arms embargo is backed by Middle East countries from Israel to the Gulf “who are most exposed to Iran’s predations.”
The Trump administration has won only tepid support from allies for the U.S. draft resolution to maintain the arms embargo, and European countries are expected to present a counter-proposal that would extend at least parts of the embargo for six months. It is not clear if the U.S., Russia or China would support such a proposal.