Although the US circulated a resolution to Security Council members last month to continue the embargo, Craft said on Tuesday that the US has little faith it can bring Russia and China around. That could spell a crisis at the UN, with Craft and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo threatening to invoke a “snapback” provision in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to reimpose all UN sanctions against Tehran, Bloomberg reported.
“The strategy in a perfect world will always be to have them abstain and obviously not veto” the US resolution, Craft said in an online appearance at the annual Aspen Security Forum.
The ban on arms deals with Iran is set to expire in October under terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, which President Donald Trump pulled the US out of in 2018.
The Trump administration maintains that quitting the deal doesn’t prevent it from invoking the provision to snap back sanctions that had been lifted.
Several diplomats say that France, Germany, the UK, Russia and China are trying to negotiate a solution that might prevent the US from taking such a step, but that no clear compromise has emerged.
Bloomberg said on Wednesday that it has obtained a copy of the text of the resolution which the US has circulated to United Nations Security Council members.
It asks UN members states to stop all sales of weapons to and from Iran and to refrain from providing any “technical training, financial resources or services, advice, other services or assistance related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, maintenance, or use of arms” to Iran.
The new resolution is almost identical to one the US circulated in June, signaling the Trump administration is unwilling to make changes suggested by allies and opponents on the Security Council.
Washington has stepped up calls for the extension of the UN arms embargo on Iran, which will expire in October under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Trump administration has threatened that it may seek to trigger a snapback of all sanctions on Iran if its attempts to extend the arms embargo fail.
Tehran, however, has firmly rejected Washington’s plans as the US is no longer a party to the nuclear deal ever since it withdrew from the agreement in 2018.
China and Russia, which are both signatories to the JCPOA, have echoed Tehran’s position.
Iran has also warned it will take "effective measures" if European countries cave in to the US pressure aimed at extending the arms embargo.
"We have warned the European countries that if they give in to the US political and diplomatic pressures and trigger the restrictions, Iran has envisaged effective measures [to take in kind], but we hope that things would not end up like that," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said in July, according to Press TV.
"We advise independent states not to make unwise decisions about international peace and security under the US pressure," he added.
‘US spreading lies’
He noted that the US is spreading lies and waging smear campaigns against Tehran to prolong the ban, saying, "They (the Americans) seek to form a new consensus against us and portray the Islamic Republic as a factor disrupting security, but it is the US forces who are disrupting peace, stability and security in the region."
US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook during a visit to Saudi Arabia in June claimed that lifting the arms embargo will trigger an arms race in the Middle East region.
Hook said lifting the ban would "only embolden" Iran and destabilize the region.