Photo shows a United Nations Security Council session under way. File photo
The US has proposed a UN Security Council resolution condemning a devastating 2019 attack on Saudi oil facilities it blames on Iran and proposing an extension of an arms embargo against the Islamic republic, sources said.
The embargo, put in place as part of a nuclear accord signed with Tehran in 2015, is set to expire in October, but Washington has been working to extend the ban as tensions with its arch-rival remain high.
On Friday, France, the UK and Germany — all signatories to the deal — issued a joint statement arguing against lifting the ban as scheduled, saying it could have "major implications for regional security and stability."
The US resolution — a draft of which was obtained by AFP — "condemns the attacks of September 2019 against Saudi Arabia carried out by Iran.”
It also calls for the body to "prohibit the supply, sale or transfer, direct or indirect... of weapons and related materials," excluding those that are approved with 30 days' notice.
No date has been scheduled for a vote on the resolution and it is unlikely to pass, as veto-wielding China and Russia have already spoken out against extending the embargo.
The 2019 attacks on Saudi state oil giant Aramco's facilities caused extensive damage and briefly interrupted production of half of the country's oil output.
Parts of the cruise missiles and drones used in the attacks were either made in Iran or exported there, according to a UN report based on an examination of the debris released earlier this month.
Observers say the US attempt to extend the embargo is part of efforts to re-impose UN sanctions on Iran, lifted in 2015 when the agreement was signed.
France, the UK and Germany have already rejected any "unilateral attempt" to re-impose UN sanctions on Iran.
Iran agreed with major world powers in 2015 to freeze its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of punishing international sanctions.
But in 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement and reimposed sanctions, prompting Iran to roll back its own commitments.
Only two of the Council's 15 members voted in favor, highlighting the division between Washington and its European allies since President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord in May 2018.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday meets US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the highest-level talks between the rival powers in nearly a year as they see if they can make headway on a raft of disagreements
Discussions between Britain and the United States on building up their military presence in the Gulf are ongoing, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman, Alison Donnelly, said on Friday amid tensions with Iran.
President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday appeared set on easing weeks of escalating tensions with Iran, assuring worried lawmakers it does not seek war and crediting robust US military moves with deterring the clerical regime.
The Kremlin is expected to move immediately to absorb the regions once the voting is over, with President Vlaidmir Putin expected to declare their incorporation into Russia later this week.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said earlier that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered an investigation into the audio leaks allegedly from PM House that features government officials.
Blinken's comments came after India's defence and foreign ministers opposed a US decision to provide a support package of about $450 million for Pakistan's fleet of US-made F-16 fighter jets.
The ceremony started at 2:00 p.m. (0500 GMT), with Abe's ashes carried into the Nippon Budokan Hall in central Tokyo by his widow, Akie, to music from a military band and the booms of the honour-guard salute, which echoed inside the hall.