United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned against ending an arms embargo on Iran, as he renewed a threat to impose sanctions on “anyone who touches,” supports or allows an Iranian tanker carrying crude oil to dock.
In an address to the United Nations on Tuesday, Pompeo likened every day until the deal’s October 2020 expiration as a “#CountdownToTerror clock”.
“Time is drawing short to continue this activity of restricting Iran’s capacity to foment its terror regime. The international community will have plenty of time to see how long it has until Iran is unshackled to create new turmoil, and figure out what it must do to prevent this from happening,” Pompeo said I his address.
The push to extend the ban on weapons sales to Tehran comes amid increasing efforts by Washington to restrict Iran’s oil exports.
Since the decision by US President Donald Trump in 2018 to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, Washington has attempted to use what it calls “maximum pressure” to change Iran’s behavior and limit its nuclear ambitions.
The arms embargo covers all weapons sales and “related material” to Iran. It was put in place by the UN and is set to be lifted five years after the adoption of the nuclear deal.
“Sanctions against Anyone Who Allows Iranian Ship to Dock”
Speaking to reporters also on Tuesday, Pompeo warned that the US will take every action it can to prevent an Iranian tanker sailing in the Mediterranean from delivering oil to Syria in contravention of US sanctions.
“We’ve made clear anyone who touches it, anyone who supports it, anyone who allows a ship to dock, is at risk of receiving sanctions from the United States of America. So if that ship again heads to Syria, we’ll take every action we can consistent with those sanctions to prevent them,” Pompeo told reporters.
Greece said earlier in the day that it had not had a request from the Adrian Darya 1, the vessel at the center of a dispute between Iran and the United States, to dock at one of its ports, as Washington warned Greece against helping the vessel.
The tanker, formerly called Grace 1, left Gibraltar on Sunday. Ship-tracking data on Tuesday showed the vessel was heading toward the Greek port of Kalamata on the southern coast of the Peloponnese and was scheduled to arrive next Monday.