13-Year Iranian Arms Embargo Ends
After the recent months’ intense battles in the UN Security Council, the conventional arms embargo imposed on Iran in 2007 officially expired on Sunday, leaving the Islamic Republic open for such business for the first time in 13 years. The lifting of the restrictions on purchasing and selling weapons is part of the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 group (the five permanent UNSC members plus Germany), in which Tehran agreed to suspend its nuclear program in return for comprehensive sanctions relief. Last month, Russian officials said they were looking forward to resuming long-delayed arms deals with Iran, despite US efforts to reimpose restrictions and to extend the embargo. In August, Washington introduced a resolution to the Security Council by which the embargo would be prolonged indefinitely – a proposal that was roundly rejected. Then the US announced it had triggered the “snapback” clause of the 2015 deal, which would reimpose all sanctions, including the arms embargo. Other UN members refused to recognize the move, noting that the US pulled out of the deal in 2018. In recent weeks, Washington has instead elected to crank up the economic pressure on any potential Iranian trade partners by imposing harsh sanctions on its financial and business sectors.