Iran welcomes a “momentary day” when the UN arms embargo expires

The UN arms embargo on Iran expired on Sunday as a blow to the Trump administration, which failed to try to extend it.

The lifting of the embargo, which is part of Teheran’s nuclear deal with the world powers in 2015, has been under strong pressure from Washington since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the deal for two years. It is a symbolic victory of Islamic republic. Before.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the expiration of the embargo would be a “momentary day” for the international community to resist the US “malicious” efforts and protect the nuclear deal.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would sanction “individuals or groups that substantially contribute to the supply, sale, or transfer of conventional weapons to or from Iran.”

“All countries seeking peace and stability in the Middle East and supporting the war on terror should refrain from any arms trade with Iran,” Pompeo said in a statement. “Providing weapons to Iran only exacerbates tensions in the region.”

The Trump administration sought to extend the embargo, but was defeated by the UN Security Council in August, Russia and China opposed the move, and 11 forces, including Britain, France and Germany, abstained.

The following month, the United States imposed more sanctions, and Mr. Trump claimed that all UN sanctions on Iran had been restored and the arms embargo was extended.

While sharing some of the US concerns, Washington’s European allies said they could not take such action because the US had withdrawn from the nuclear agreement already known as the JCPOA.

“In the short term, the impact of expiration is limited. Iran’s financial position means they don’t expect to buy large quantities of weapons,” said a European diplomat. .. “We share the goals of the United States. What makes us different is whether the JCPOA should be destroyed to achieve them. For us, preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is It’s really important, and I still believe the JCPOA is the best way to go. “

Britain, Germany and France opposed Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from trading in 2018 and impose unwavering sanctions on the Republic. Iran has increased its nuclear activity accordingly, but Tehran and other signatories, including Russia and China, continue to commit to the 2015 agreement.

The expiration of the embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council in 2007 was agreed as one of the so-called sunset clauses of the agreement.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said this week that Tehran could import and export weapons to “people we like as of Sunday.” However, potential buyers will be wary of being subject to secondary US sanctions.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani (third from left) chairs a conference in Tehran on Sunday © Ebrahim Seydi / Iranian Presidency / dpa

Analysts said Iran is unlikely to embark on the purchase of large arms, as Iran’s economy is dysfunctional due to US sanctions, coronaviruses and low oil prices.

However, Iranian expert Erie Gerammayer, a think tank of the European Foreign Relations Commission, said Russia and China had announced a weapons agreement with Iran and “witnessed the Trump administration,” saying “the United States was a loser.” “. In the game “.

However, she added, “U.S. sanctions on the financial sector and recent measures on Iran’s defense industry put Russian and Chinese companies under U.S. pressure and receive payments from Iran. We will rethink both whether we can do it or not. “

With rivals in Iran’s region, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, spending tens of billions of dollars on US weapons, lifting the ban is unlikely to upset the balance of military power in the region.

Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has been subject to varying degrees of international sanctions, forcing the development of indigenous defense industries.

We manufacture a range of weapons that are considered to be the core of national security, such as drones and ballistic missiles. Recognizing that it cannot compete with its rivals in terms of conventional weapons, it has built a network of militant groups throughout the region that act as agents as part of its defense strategy.

Emile Hokaiem, a Middle East expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said: “But there are individual features that threaten US control, such as anti-ship missiles.”

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