Kevin Barrett, an author, journalist and radio host with a Ph.D. in Islamic and Arabic Studies, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday, after US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said that lifting the arms embargo on Iran will trigger an arms race in the Middle East.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs Adel al-Jubeir in Riyadh on Monday, Hook said lifting the ban would “only embolden” Iran and destabilize the region.
“This is not an outcome that the UN Security Council can accept. The council’s mandate is clear: to maintain international peace and security,” Hook added.
Barrett said that “Brian Hook is the US Special Representative to the United Nations and he’s trying to extend the UN weapons embargo on Iran. And he’s claimed to be doing so under provisions of the JCPOA, which the US has withdrawn from.”
“So, this is quite mind-boggling. Why he thinks the US has the right to invoke the JCPOA after it exited the JCPOA is a mystery. Likewise, it’s a mystery why he thinks that the lack of an arms embargo on Iran would lead to an arms race in the Middle East region,” he stated.
“Clearly, the regimes that are arming themselves and initiating an arms race in the region are the US allies, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, and Iran is far from leading an arms race in the region. If we look at population, and so on, Iran is actually relatively under-armed, although it seems to be doing okay despite the fact that it’s essentially been embargoed and so it has to do everything itself, make its own rockets, and it’s managed to put satellites into space despite all of these sanctions, and opposition from other countries including sabotage,” he said.
“We just saw an explosion in Iran maybe some form of sabotage; certainly, we know that Iran’s enemies have been supporting terrorism in Iran, and elsewhere in the region. They’ve killed nearly 20,000 innocent civilians in Iran, through support for some of the world’s worst terrorist groups,” he noted.
“So, this is of course absurd, but it just goes to show that the US Empire is still in its arrogant phase. It has not yet been fully humbled, although its reputation in the world has certainly taken a hit after the coronavirus pandemic, which many suspects is a US biological attack, or perhaps a biological attack by the Western international bankers who largely own the US and dictate policy in the US.”
“And the US has had such a terrible response to it. The US now has the worst coronavirus caseload in the world per capita, and it’s still growing here. And yet the US pretends that it’s going to be running around the world dictating policy and telling people what they can do in each region. And of course, if Brian Hook really wants to end the arms race in the Middle East, the first thing he should do is stop selling the weapons that Saudi Arabia is using to commit genocide in Yemen, and stop handing the Israelis billions of American taxpayer dollars to commit genocide in occupied Palestine,” he said.
“If the US did those two things there would be a much more peaceful Middle East or Muslim East as a result. But don’t hold your breath because decadent empires often become rabid before they die. And that seems to be what’s happening here in Washington,” he concluded.
Washington has stepped up calls for the extension of the UN arms embargo on Iran, which will expire in October under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The Trump administration has threatened that it may seek to trigger a snapback of all sanctions on Iran if its attempts to extend the arms embargo fail.
Tehran, however, has firmly rejected Washington’s plans as the US is no longer a party to the nuclear deal ever since it withdrew from the multilateral agreement in 2018.
China and Russia, which are both signatories to the JCPOA, echoed Tehran’s position in their recent statements.
“US failed to meet its obligations under Resolution 2231 by withdrawing from Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” China’s UN mission said.
Also noting that Washington is in gross violation of Resolution 2231, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stressed that “no one is allowed to implement UNSC Security Council resolutions selectively and extremely fragmentarily”.