US urges extension of embargo on conventional arms sales to Iran: report

TEHRAN, Apr. 26 (MNA) – Repeating accusations against Iran, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Saturday for the UN to extend its conventional arms embargo on Iran beyond its scheduled end in October, citing Tehran's recent launch of a military satellite.

The lifting of the embargo was stipulated in the multi-nation Iranian nuclear deal concluded in 2015, but which the United States, under President Donald Trump, unilaterally renounced in 2018.

He claimed Iran's announcement Wednesday that it had orbited its first military satellite demonstrated that its space program which Tehran has long insisted is peaceful and civilian was in fact "neither peaceful nor entirely civilian."

The technology used to launch the satellite dubbed Nour, or "light" in Persian was compatible with that used to launch ballistic missiles, Pompeo claimed, according to Daily Star.

The US Secretary of State then reiterated his accusations and called for a restriction on Iran's missile activities, saying "All peace-loving nations must reject Iran's development of ballistic-missile-capable technologies and join together to constrain Iran's dangerous missile programs.”

He called on the European Union to "sanction those individuals and entities working on Iran's missile programs."

Pompeo's statement came at a time of sharp US-Iranian tensions, escalated last week after Washington accused Iran of harassing US ships in the Persian Gulf.

Trump said Wednesday on Twitter that he had "instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea."

Iran's Revolutionary Guards, which had announced the satellite launch, responded by warning the US of a "decisive response" to any such action.

MNA/PR

News Code 158037

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