The new text, as reviewed by Reuters on Tuesday, is as brief as four paragraphs and would extend the ban “until the Security Council decides otherwise.”
Described by diplomats and analysts as “maximalist”, the previous US draft resolution was, however, more than a dozen pages long and was aimed at indefinitely extending the embargo.
Diplomats said that while the new simple draft text might win the United States some more votes, it was unclear if Washington could get the minimum nine votes needed as it was unlikely to convince veto-wielding Russia and China to abstain.
The embargo is slated to expire in October under a 2015 UNSC-endorsed nuclear deal between Iran and six world states — Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France and the US.
Washington is, however, seeking to keep the arms ban in place through a UNSC resolution, threatening that it would use a provision in the agreement to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran if the UN body fails to extend the embargo. Ironically Washington abandoned the deal in 2018.
The remaining signatories to the deal, even Washington’s own allies, have repeatedly reminded the US that it is no longer a party to the deal and thus cannot use the provision to bring about a renewal of anti-Iran bans.
They have also cautioned that a return of UN sanctions on Iran would likely kill the nuclear deal because Iran would lose yet another major interest under the deal.
The US has already reinstated its unilateral economic sanctions against Iran after leaving the deal in defiance of UNSC Resolution 2231, prompting Iran to suspend parts of its commitments to the landmark accord in response.
The vote on the draft resolution was set to be held on Tuesday but is postponed until later this week.