Accessibility links

Breaking News

Defense Minister Says Iran To Export Weapons When Embargo Lifted

IRAN -- A group of domestically built surface-to-surface missiles are displayed at a military show marking the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed shah, at Imam Khomeini Grand Mosque, in Tehran, February 3, 2019

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatami has said that lifting the arms embargo on Iran, which is due to happen in October, will allow Iran to "export more defense products".

In an interview published on Saturday by the government-mouthpiece Iran newspaper, Hatami claimed that Iran currently produces "more than 90 percent of the weapons required by the armed forces and the remaining 10 percent does not affect the country's defense capabilities,"

Hatami also said that while the arms embargo sanctioned by the U.N. Resolution 2231 prevented Iran from exporting weapons, with the lifting of the embargo, Iran will be able to export "products [defined as weapons] and technical services."

After pulling out of the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers in May 2018, the Trump administration reimposed U.S. sanctions on Iran. Despite the crippling effects of the sanctions, Iran has so far refused to negotiate directly with the United States for a "better deal" sought by the U.S. administration.

In August 2020, the U.S. proposed a resolution to the U.N. Security Council to extend the embargo on Iran. The proposal was greeted with widespread opposition from other Security Council members, and eventually failed to pass, as 13 of the 15 members abstained from the vote. The U.S. then attempted to invoke the "snapback" mechanism that would restore all U.N. sanctions on Iran in accordance with the 2015 nuclear agreement.

The remaining participants in the 2015 nuclear deal officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have said the U.S. no longer has the standing to invoke the snapback mechanism.

U.S. administration officials have argued that, as a permanent member of the Security Council, the U.S. still has the legal grounds to call for the reimposition of sanctions. The Security Council presidents for August and September, Indonesia and Niger, have refused to act on the proposed resolution.

Iranian officials, President Hassan Rouhani in particular, have always said that the provision of the JCPOA that allows the U.N. arms embargo on Iran to eventually be lifted is one of the