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Hook says US holds onto arms embargo on Iran

US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook has stressed that Washington is working to renew the arms embargo on Iran and would continue its “maximum pressure” campaign.

Speaking to Brett D. Schaefer of the Heritage Foundation during an online session, Hook said his country has the right to ask for the renewal of the arms embargo.

The ban on selling weapons to Iran is set to be progressively eased from October in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

The weapons include battle tanks, combat aircraft, warships and missiles or missile systems, according to the resolution.

But a UN embargo on materials, goods, equipment and technology that Iran could use for its ballistic missile program will remain in place until October 2023.

Hook said Iran was at the forefront of sponsoring terrorism and that lifting the embargo would give Iran “an opportunity to destabilize the region.”

He said Iran’s Shiite crescent extends from Lebanon down to Yemen.
Hook described the regime as “deadly” and “lethal,” and said the 2015 nuclear deal helped Iran advance its ambitions to dominate the Middle East.

The deal has come with an enormous cost, including missile testing and hostage-taking, he said.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord — known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — in 2018 and began reimposing sanctions on Iran.

“Our maximum pressure campaign continues,” said Hook.