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U.S., Citing Iran's Arming Of Hizballah, Urges UN To Enforce Arms Embargo

Outgoing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power on January 18 expressed concern that Iran is supplying weapons to Lebanon's Hizballah in violation of an arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council.

Power said Iran's arming of Hizballah "continues to destabilize the Middle East" and urged the council to enforce the embargo.

UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman also expressed concern that Tehran is violating UN sanctions by supplying arms to Hizballah.

Tehran has defiantly refused to comply with the council's arms embargo or ballistic missile restrictions, and has been protected by Russia and China, which have used their vetoes to block the council from imposing sanctions over previously reported violations.

Russian deputy UN ambassador Vladimir Safronkov indicated on January 18 that Moscow would continue to block attempts to sanction Iran, saying Russia is against any "pressure" on Iran over missiles or conventional arms.

But Power's designated successor, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, told a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing that the incoming Trump administration will take a hard line on enforcing UN sanctions against Iran.

"Anytime that we put sanctions forward we should follow through on those when there are violations," she said.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and TASS