Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday condemned the United Nations Security Council's rejection of a U.S. resolution to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran, calling it a failure "to hold Iran accountable."
The 15-member council failed to get the minimum nine "yes" votes required for adoption — allowing a 13-year embargo designed to prevent Iran from buying and selling weapons, including aircraft and tanks, to expire Oct. 18.
"The @UN Security Council failed today to hold Iran accountable. It enabled the world's top state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell deadly weapons and ignored the demands of countries in the Middle East. America will continue to work to correct this mistake."
In a statement, Pompeo vowed the United States "will never abandon our friends in the region who expected more from the Security Council."
"We will continue to work to ensure that the theocratic terror regime does not have the freedom to purchase and sell weapons that threaten the heart of Europe, the Middle East and beyond," he said.
Pompeo suggested the United States would invoke the "snap back" mechanism in the 2015 nuclear deal that would restore all U.N. sanctions on Iran.
"Snap back" was envisioned in the event Iran was proven to be in violation of the accord, under which it received billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear agreement between Iran and six major powers in 2018. But the U.S. circulated a six-page memo Thursday from State Department lawyers outlining why the United States remains part of the 2015 Security Council resolution that endorsed the deal and still has the right to use the "snap back" provision.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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