JERUSALEM, Israel - United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Monday that time is running out before the United Nation's "arms embargo on Iran expires," which he said could spark a new arms race in the Middle East and destabilize the region.
"We urge our allies and partners to increase the pressure on the Iranian regime until it stops its destabilizing behavior," Pompeo tweeted.
He also posted a countdown clock indicating there is about one year and three months until the UN sanctions against Tehran end.
The clock is ticking. Time remaining before the UN arms embargo on Iran expires and Qasem Soleimani's travel ban ends. We urge our allies and partners to increase the pressure on the Iranian regime until it stops its destabilizing behavior. https://t.co/oxsXNiJ4Q3 pic.twitter.com/o4HpES3GKs
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 12, 2019
"Time is running out on international agreements restraining the Iranian regime," Pompeo said in an official statement. "For example, the head of the brutal Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Qasem Soleimani, will be allowed to travel on October 18, 2020. Soon after, the Iranian regime will also be free to sell weapons to anyone, including terrorist proxies, and countries like Russia and China will be able to sell the Iranian regime tanks, missiles, and air defense equipment. This could start a new arms race in the Middle East and further destabilize the region and the world."
The US has hit Iran with several rounds of sanctions since withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.
The Times of Israel reports that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last week that Tehran will negotiate with Washington after all sanctions are lifted from the country. He also called America's sanctions "economic terrorism."
Meanwhile, the US is locked in a tense stand-off with Iran in the Persian Gulf after Iran shot down a US drone and seized a British oil tanker. US officials say Iran is trying to tighten controls on the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, which could be disastrous for the strategic shipping port.
CBN News previously reported that Pompeo was recently in Australia making his case for the West to unite in protecting shipping from Iranian aggression.
"What we've asked 60-plus nations to do is provide assistance in securing and deterring – securing from and – excuse me, deterring from and securing the Strait of Hormuz so that commercial vessels can travel through there," Pompeo said during the visit.