UN arms embargoes on Iran expire despite US objections

A decade-long U.N. arms embargo on Iran that barred it from purchasing foreign weapons like tanks and fighter jets expired on Oct. 18 as planned under its nuclear deal with world powers, despite objections from the United States.

While insisting it planned no "buying spree," Iran in theory can purchase weapons to upgrade military armament dating back to before its 1979 Islamic Revolution and sell its own locally produced gear abroad. In practice, however, Iran's economy remains crippled by broad-reaching U.S. sanctions, and other nations may avoid arms deals with Tehran for fear of American financial retaliation.

The Islamic Republic heralded the end of the arms embargo as "a momentous day for the international community... in defiance of the U.S. regime's effort." The Trump administration, meanwhile, has insisted it has re-invoked all U.N. sanctions on Iran via a clause in the nuclear deal it withdrew from in 2018, a claim ignored by the rest of the world.

"Today's normalization of Iran's defense cooperation with the world is a win for the cause of multilateralism and peace and security in our region,'' Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter.

The United Nations banned Iran from buying major foreign weapon systems in 2010 amid tensions over its nuclear program. An earlier embargo targeted Iranian arms exports.

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency predicted in 2019 that if the embargo ended, Iran likely would try to purchase Russian Su-30 fighter jets, Yak-130 trainer aircraft and T-90 tanks. Tehran also may try to buy Russia's S-400 anti-aircraft missile system and its Bastian coastal defense missile system, the DIA said. China also could sell Iran arms.
Iran long has been outmatched by U.S.-backed...

Continue reading on: