An overwhelming bipartisan majority of the US House of Representatives on Monday called for the extension of the United Nations arms embargo against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Foreign Affairs Committee Republican Leader Michael McCaul and Chairman Eliot L. Engel, as well as Representative Stephanie Murphy and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, led a group of 387 members “encouraging robust diplomacy to prevent the expiration of the embargo and of UN travel restrictions on Iranians engaged in proliferation activities,” an accompanying statement said.
The statement noted that the “group of members — more than three-quarters of the House — underscored that permitting Iran to buy and sell weapons would pose a grave risk to security and stability around the world.”
Following the vote, McCaul said that “nearly every member of the US House of Representatives is in agreement: Iran must not be allowed to buy or sell weapons.”
McCaul added that the embargo “isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, or even just an American issue. We need to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran for the sake of international peace and security.”
Engel argued that the Trump administration’s abandonment of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran meant that “it falls to the administration to solve this crisis, not make it worse.”
Continued Engel: “Iran continues to be a danger to the United States, our interests, and our allies. We need a realistic and practical strategy to prevent Iran from becoming a greater menace.”
The leading pro-Israel lobbying organization, AIPAC, welcomed the vote in a statement on Monday. AIPAC warned that Russia and China were eager to resume selling weapons to the Iranian regime once the embargo imposed by UN Security Council expires this coming October.