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Iran can resume arms trade as embargo ends

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani makes a speech about the US sanctions and the Iran's economic situation during the Economic Coordination Center meeting in Tehran, Iran on 6 October 2020. [Iranian Presidency - Anadolu Agency]
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani makes a speech about the US sanctions and the Iran's economic situation during the Economic Coordination Center meeting in Tehran, Iran on 6 October 2020. [Iranian Presidency - Anadolu Agency]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced yesterday that Iran will be able to resume its arms trade from this Sunday following the failure of the US to extend the UN arms embargo. Speaking during a cabinet meeting, Rouhani congratulated the Iranian nation as the “oppressive” 10-year arms ban nears its end.

“As of Sunday, we’ll be able to sell our weapons to whoever we like, and buy arms from anybody we want,” he said. “We fought with the United States on this issue for four years. America was exerting itself to prevent this day from coming, [but] that day is coming thanks to our people’s resistance. It is because of the endeavours of our diplomats that the US failed.”

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Rouhani stressed that the lifting of the arms embargo was an outcome of the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), from which the US under Donald Trump withdrew in 2018. The embargo is to be lifted in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

In August, Washington suffered a “humiliating defeat” after the Security Council refused to extend the arms embargo imposed on Tehran. The following month, the US failed to trigger the so-called snapback provision in the JCPOA intending to reimpose all UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Last month, a top Russian official said that Moscow will seek closer military cooperation with Tehran once the arms embargo expires. “New opportunities will emerge in our cooperation with Iran after the special regime imposed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231 expires on 18 October,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency. China and Iran are also moving towards military cooperation which will include joint weapons development.

At a press conference on Monday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh spoke of a “historic” defeat faced by the US. “Iran again showed that the United States is not as all-powerful as it claims.”

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