Iran says looking forward to buying, selling weapons with ‘many friends’

October 17, 2020 - 16:1

TEHRAN — An Iranian diplomat has said that the Islamic Republic is looking forward to buying and selling weapons with a number of international partners after a UN arms embargo on Tehran is lifted.

The expiration of the decade-old UN embargo, set to take place on October 18, would come after an unsuccessful U.S. campaign to convince countries to defy the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the accompanying UN Security Council resolution 2231 to extend the arms embargo on Iran.

The JCPOA, endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, was signed between Iran, the United States, Britain, Germany, France, the European Union, Russia, and China on July 14, 2018. However, U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the deal on May 8, 2018 in pursuit of what it called the “maximum pressure” policy against Iran.

“Iran has many friends and trading partners, and has a robust domestic arms industry to ensure its defense requirements against foreign aggression,” Alireza Miryousefi tells Newsweek.

“It is abundantly clear that the UN and the overwhelming majority of its member states reject the U.S.’s so-called maximum pressure policy on Iran, and that its attempts to even further violate the JCPOA and UNSCR 2231 have led to its isolation,” Iranian UN mission spokesman Alireza Miryousefi told Newsweek in an interview published on Friday.

Asked if Tehran had any particular nations in mind, Miryousefi said his country had options beginning on Sunday.

“Iran has many friends and trading partners, and has a robust domestic arms industry to ensure its defense requirements against foreign aggression,” he told Newsweek. “In accordance with the timeline stated in resolution 2231, Iran will be relieved from arms restrictions as early as October 18. Naturally, from that date, we’ll trade, on the basis of our national interests, with other countries in this field.”

The U.S. has made tremendous efforts, from submitting a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for the extension of the arms embargo to triggering a controversial mechanism within the JCPOA, to make sure that the UN Arms restrictions on Iran will not be lifted. But all U.S. efforts in this regard have faced firm opposition from the international community. All JCPOA parties along with thirteen of the 15-member UN Security Council have said the U.S. had no legal authority to extend the arms embargo on Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has congratulated the Iranian people on the imminent lifting of the ban, saying that Iran fought with the U.S. on this issue for four years.

“Over the past four years, America used everything in its power to prevent the lifting of the embargo on October 18. The embargo will be lifted due to the endurance of the people,” Rouhani was quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) as saying on Wednesday morning.

The president added, “The U.S. failed because of the efforts made by our diplomats. Those who say what the point of the JCPOA was, should know that this is one of the JCPOA’s privileges. It lifted the arms embargo and as of Sunday, we will be able to buy arms from anyone and sell arms to anyone.”

Other Iranian officials have also voiced satisfaction over the expiration of the arms embargo.

Presidential chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi said that the restrictions on Iran’s import and export of weapons will be lifted next week, describing the development as a “great success” for Iran.

“The restrictions that we had on exporting and importing weapons will be lifted next week,” Vaezi said on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

MH/PA

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