We were encouraged that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, if anything, to calm internal nerves.
Indeed, there have been rising concerns about Middle East stability since the Trump administration decided to withdraw U.S. forces from Northern Syria, exposing the Kurds to Turkish aggression.
Importantly, Pompeo, a strong supporter of Israel, made it crystal clear that the U.S.-Israel relationship, especially when it comes to security, is closer than ever.
At the same time, the secretary of state raised a concern that needs international response. Pompeo reminded the world that because of the terribly flawed Iran nuke deal, the United Nations arms embargo on the rogue nation will expire in about a year. At that time, opportunistic nations such as Russia and China will be able to, and will undoubtedly, sell Iran sophisticated weapons. Iran would be able to turn around and sell the weapons, seriously threatening Israel’s regional military edge.
This will add yet another layer of destabilization to an already difficult part of the world.
The U.N. Security Council needs to renew this important arms embargo as if the security of the world depended on it, because it does.
For Israel, whether the threat is in Northern Syria, Lebanon or Iraq, the fact remains that Iran is making itself more of a fixture in this dangerous neighborhood.
Pompeo’s actions toward Israel are welcomed and encouraging. But the Trump administration and Congress must take action to protect Israel on other fronts. And in this case, as Pompeo suggested, it is through the Security Council and the renewal of the U.N. arms embargo, an embargo that must at the very least be extended.