Secretary Michael R. Pompeo At a Press Availability (Excerpts)

April 29, 2020

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Military

Related Country: 

  • United States
  • Venezuela
  • Russia
  • China
  • Germany
  • France
  • United Kingdom

[...]

 I also want to update the world on the Maduro regime’s connection to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Over the last few days, multiple aircraft belonging to Mahan Air have transferred unknown support to the Maduro regime.  Birds of a feather. This is the same terrorist airline that Iran uses to move weapons and fighters around the Middle East. These flights must stop, and countries should do their part to deny overflights, just as many have already denied landing rights to this sanctioned airline. 

[...] 

I also want to update the world on the Maduro regime’s connection to the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Over the last few days, multiple aircraft belonging to Mahan Air have transferred unknown support to the Maduro regime.  Birds of a feather.  This is the same terrorist airline that Iran uses to move weapons and fighters around the Middle East.  These flights must stop, and countries should do their part to deny overflights, just as many have already denied landing rights to this sanctioned airline. 

[...] 

QUESTION:  Good morning.  I wanted to ask you on Iran.  You’re asking the UN Security Council to renew the arms embargo on Iran.  Can the U.S. make the argument that it is still a state participant to the – in the JCPOA after it scratched it in 2018?  And do you think this can work?  

[...]

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Your first question was about Iran’s ability to purchase conventional weapons systems starting on October 23rd of this year in the absence of action.  We’re not going to let that happen.  The failures of the Iran nuclear deal are legion.  One of them is now upon us.  It’s now just several months out where China, Russia, other countries from around the world can all sell significant conventional weapons systems to the Iranians in October of this year.  This isn’t far off.  This isn’t some fantasy by conservatives.  This is a reality.  Does anybody think that the nation that today is conducting terror campaigns by Lebanese Hizballah or Iraqi Shia movements or firing military missiles into the air ought to be permitted to purchase conventional weapons systems in just a few months?  I think the world realizes that’s a mistake.  We’re urging our E3 partners to take action, which is within their capacity to do.  We’ll go – we’ll work with the UN Security Council to extend that prohibition on those arms sales.  And then in the event we can’t get anyone else to act, the United States is evaluating every possibility about how we might do that.  And I’m not trying to be too clever by half.  Your question was about us as a participant.

The UN Security Council Resolution 2231 is very clear:  We don’t have to – we don’t have to declare ourselves a participant.  UN Security Council Resolution 2231 is unambiguous where the United States is a participant in the UN Security – it’s just there in the language.  There’s nothing magic about this.  There’s no fancy – I – someone suggested this is fancy lawyering.  It’s just reading.  (Laughter.)  It’s unambiguous and the rights that accrue to participants in the UN Security Council resolution are fully available to all those participants.  We’re going to – we are going to make sure that come October of this year, the Iranians aren’t able to buy conventional weapon that they would be given what President Obama and Vice President Biden delivered to the world in that terrible deal.

[...]