US Intel: Iran to Buy Fighter Jets, Tanks When UN Arms Embargo Lifted in 2020
According to a United States intelligence report, Iran will purchase cutting-edge fighter jets and tanks when a United Nations arms embargo on the country expires in October 2020. The Defense Intelligence Agency assessment also noted that Tehran is making rapid progress toward developing advanced drones and missile systems, and that the Islamic Republic remains committed to becoming the dominant power in the Middle East. It predicted that Iran would likely buy the heavy military equipment from Russia and China, its two primary international backers. Moscow played a role in helping the regime develop its nuclear capabilities and has shielded the mullahs from opprobrium in international forums. As part of a 2015 multilateral deal aimed at preventing Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, the UN Security Council approved Resolution 2231, which relaxed a blanket arms embargo. The looming expiration date on the embargo has caused concern in Washington, given the recent Iranian-attributed attacks on oil vessels in the Gulf in addition to a coordinated missile and drone attack on Saudi oil infrastructure that temporarily cut global output by up to five percent. It is unclear how, and if, US sanctions on Iran would impact the latter’s ability to procure weapons.