Senior US official in regional tour to extend arms embargo on Tehran

Washington's Iran envoy Brian Hook travelled to Kuwait, Qatar and Tunisia

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook speaks during a joint news conference with Bahrain Foreign Minister, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani (not pictured), in Manama, Bahrain June 29, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad l Mohammed/File Photo
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Brian Hook, the US Special Representative for Iran, said during a visit to Kuwait that Washington remains committed to supporting Gulf security and “collective action” to ease tensions in the region. 

Mr Hook, who is also a senior adviser to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, travelled to Tunisia, Qatar, and Kuwait this week to discuss Washington's attempts to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, in the face of opposition from Russia and China. He discussed in Kuwait and Qatar the "need to extend the arms embargo to preclude a regional arms race and halt Iran's destabilising activities in the region," the US State Department said. 

In Tunisia, Mr Hook “requested Tunisia’s support ... to extend the arms embargo” against Iran, which expires on October 18.  

Tunisia is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. 

“We affirm the importance of GCC unity and appreciate the conciliation efforts being made by Kuwait, which has played a major role in this regard,” Mr Hook said after meeting senior Kuwaiti officials on Monday, according to state news agency Kuna.

He met Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Sabah and Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al Sabah

Kuwait has been behind several initiatives attempting to heal the rift that started in mid-2017 between Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt over Doha’s support for extremist groups in the region. 

Mr Hook said it “has gone on too long”, praising efforts by Kuwait to resolve the dispute.