TEHRAN: A decade-long U.N. arms embargo on Iran that barred it from purchasing foreign weapons like tanks and fighter jets expired Sunday 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 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.
The U.N. arms embargoes, however, did not stop Iran from sending weapons ranging from assault rifles to ballistic missiles to Yemen’s Houthi rebels. While Tehran denies arming the Houthis, Western governments and weapons experts repeatedly have linked Iranian arms to the rebels.
INPUTS – The New Indian Express