The United Nations is preparing to vote on a resolution that would extend an arms embargo against the Islamic dictatorship of Iran, which is seen as a major test of President Donald Trump’s hardline policy on the rogue state, The Hill newspaper reports.
The vote comes as a top State Department official prepares to exit the administration and a once-vocal critic of President Trump prepares to assume a higher profile.
The proposed resolution marks the latest tough action taken against Iran by the United States under President Trump, who famously withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, back in 2018.
President Trump had been a frequent critic of the deal, which was the centerpiece of Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy. The deal eased restrictions on the Islamic nation and made it easier for the oil-rich Iranians to pursue the development of nuclear weapons.
But other member-states of the United Nations have remained more sympathetic to the regime and continue to support the idea of the Iran deal, even as the deal itself has all but collapsed following the U.S. withdrawal.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his case for the resolution, and reminded others that the United States would ultimately ensure some sort of arms embargo against Iran.
“The proposal we put forward is entirely reasonable,” Pompeo told reporters last week. “One way or another, we will do the right thing,” he added. “We will ensure that the arms embargo is extended.”
In the event the resolution fails, Pompeo suggested the United States could impose a “snapback” of all sanctions that the Obama Administration levied on Iran prior to the conclusion of the deal.
State Department official Brian Hook, who had been traveling to various allied countries to convince them to vote in favor of the resolution but was increasingly seen as ineffective, resigned from the department on Thursday. Hook was named as Pompeo’s special representative to Iran in 2018. Previously, he was a top advisor to former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Hook has been replaced by veteran diplomat and neoconservative Elliott Abrams, who had been serving as special envoy to Venezuela. Abrams was a member of the Reagan Administration during the Iran-Contra affair and an outspoken opponent of President Trump prior to joining the administration in 2019.