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I wish to express my deep concern regarding the ongoing malign activities of the Iranian regime, which undermine United Nations Security Council resolutions, foster instability in the Middle East and pose a great threat to international peace and security. It is at this critical time, as we approach the possible expiration of the arms embargo on Iran set forth in Security Council resolution 2231 (2015) that I wish to highlight these grave Iranian violations and to urge the Security Council to ensure that the arms embargo on Iran will be extended beyond the current October deadline.

Ever since the adoption of arms restrictions on Iran by the Security Council 13 years ago, the regime has continued to proliferate advanced weaponry throughout the Middle East and beyond, in violation of Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 2231 (2015), 2216 (2015) and 1701 (2006). Iran relentlessly transfers illicit arms to its proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and recently even to Libya, destabilizing the entire region. These countless violations have been well documented in numerous sources, including complaint letters submitted by concerned United Nations Members, detailed accounts on public and social media, national and international intelligence reports and, recently, the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015) (S/2020/531).

The aforementioned advanced weaponry, freely transported throughout the Middle East and used by armed militias and terrorist groups, poses a strategic threat not only to Israel, but to the entire region. In this regard, we have witnessed in Lebanon the acquisition by Hizbullah, a terrorist group and Iranian proxy, of more than 150,000 missiles and rockets that have the ability to attack the entire State of Israel. The vast majority of these rockets have been transferred from Iran, in violation of not only Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), but also resolutions 1701 (2006) and 1559 (1998).

The Iranian regime, through its Quds Force, does not stop at the mere illicit transfer of arms to Hizbullah, but also contributes to the development of Hizbullah’s self-production capabilities. Iran transfers to Hizbullah advanced technologies and provides expertise and know-how in order to develop upgraded missiles and deadlier rockets of increased range, accuracy and sophistication. This project, taking place on Lebanese soil, exploits the local population by using local civilians as a human shield to conceal its illicit activities, thereby not only contravening multiple Security Council resolutions, but also violating international law.

I wish to recall that, through numerous calls to the international community and letters to the United Nations, Israel has repeatedly warned of Iran’s unceasing malign activities and highlighted these violations, providing valuable, verified documented evidence of the Iranian regime’s reckless and illicit behaviour in the Middle East. In this regard, I note the latest report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), which has substantiated these allegations, by confirming that the cruise missiles and delta-wing uncrewed aerial vehicles used to conduct attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia were of Iranian origin and by unequivocally stating that arms and related materiel seized off the coast of Yemen were of Iranian origin.

In light of all the Iranian regime’s blatant violations of Security Council resolutions 2231 (2015) and 2140 (2014), it would be unthinkable and calamitous to allow the lifting of the arms embargo on 18 October. Iran would be allowed to scale up its military arsenal and to acquire a large variety of weapon systems, including items from the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms such as battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems, warships, submarines, combat aircraft, attack helicopters and missile systems. Iran would also be permitted to transfer weapons on a mass scale to rogue States and terrorist organizations, multiplying the existing threat it poses to its neighbours and to the entire region.

I urge the international community, and particularly the Security Council, to act swiftly and with great resolve to respond to the Iranian regime’s violations, by using all means necessary to extend the arms embargo on Iran beyond the current October deadline. Furthermore, I reiterate my request that the Security Council remain seized of the Iranian regime’s ongoing activities, through its regular deliberations on the situation in the Middle East.

I should be grateful if you would have the present letter distributed as a document of the Security Council.