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Iran announces lifting of UN arms embargo

Iranian government says it can now acquire the necessary weapons and equipment from any source Image: Heinz-Peter Bader

Iran said on Sunday (local time, Saturday in Brazil) that the UN embargo on arms sales to and from the Islamic Republic has expired, according to the 2015 Iranian nuclear program agreement and Security Council resolution 2231.

“As of today, all restrictions on arms transfers, related activities and financial services to and from the Islamic Republic of Iran (…) have been automatically lifted,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Under the international agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, this embargo, which mainly prohibits the sale of weapons and heavy military equipment to Iran, would expire on October 18.

“Thus, the Islamic Republic of Iran can acquire the necessary weapons and equipment from any source, without any legal restrictions and solely on the basis of its defensive needs,” adds the text published by the ministry.

Moscow confirmed in September that it wants to develop its military cooperation with Tehran as soon as the embargo expires. China, for its part, did not hide its intention to sell weapons to Iran from 18 October.

According to the statement, the Islamic Republic “can also export defensive weapons according to its own policies”.

In August, the United States unsuccessfully tried to get the UN Security Council to extend the embargo and restore international sanctions against Iran withdrawn from the pact.

The Iranian chancellery said that Sunday was “a memorable day for the international community” and added that the world was on Iran’s side “ignoring the efforts of the American regime”.

In May 2018, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew its country from the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, closed in Vienna in 2015.

The Iranian communiqué calls on Washington to “abandon its destructive approach to resolution 2231” and recalls that its attempts have been “categorically rejected several times in the past three months by the Security Council”.

If there is a “substantial violation of the resolution and objectives” of the nuclear program pact, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to take all necessary countermeasures to guarantee its national interests “.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in his Twitter account that the international community had “protected” the nuclear program agreement and that this Sunday “normalized Iran’s cooperation with the world”.

Trump it argues – unlike the other parts of the agreement, along with Iran (Germany, China, France, the United Kingdom and Russia) – that this text does not offer sufficient guarantees to prevent Tehran from equipping itself with the atomic bomb. However, Iran has always denied wanting to use this weapon.

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