U.S. Says Iranian Arms to Hizbullah Undermine French Efforts in Lebanon
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday vowed that Washington would seek to prevent Iran from purchasing Chinese and Russian weapons that might be passed on to Hizbullah.
"We are going to act in a way -– and we have acted in a way –- that will prevent Iran from being able to purchase Chinese tanks and Russian air defense systems and resell weapons to Hizbullah to undermine the very efforts that (French) President (Emmanuel) Macron is ably trying to lead in Lebanon," Pompeo said.
Hizbullah, an Iran-backed political party and armed group, has long been targeted by U.S. sanctions and is blacklisted as a "terrorist" organization. But it is also a powerful political player with seats in parliament in Lebanon, where the French president is seeking to foster political reform.
"It's irreconcilable that you would permit Iran to have more money, more wealth, and more arms, and still be working to try and help disconnect Hizbullah from the disaster that they have created inside of Lebanon," Pompeo added, apparently referring to Macron's stance on Iran and his efforts in Lebanon.
The United States faces widespread opposition in a new bid to reimpose international sanctions on Iran, which has been progressively stepping up its nuclear activities since Washington pulled out of the deal in 2018.
It also wants to extend the U.N. arms embargo on the country expiring on October 18.
The United States, Pompeo insisted, would "continue to defend the international order to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from returning to its malign activity" in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria.