Iran Free to Buy and Sell Arms

Security Council Res. 2231 (adopted July 14, 2015 — effective January 16, 2016) affirmed the landmark JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran unanimously.

It also retained an arms embargo on Iran for five years, a provision its ruling authorities accepted and adhered to voluntarily.

On Sunday October 18, the arms embargo expired, Iran now legally free to buy and sell conventional weapons.

Trump regime attempts to extend the embargo failed.

In August, Security Council members overwhelmingly defeated its aim to maintain it in place indefinitely.

Only the Dominican Republic supported the scheme. Other SC members rejected the idea — by voting against it or abstaining.

Even Britain, France and Germany — E3 JCPOA signatories — refused to go along with denying Iran its legal right to buy and sell conventional weapons.

Unlike the US, NATO and Israel, the Islamic Republic wants them solely for defense, not offense.

Iran prioritizes world peace, stability, and cooperative relations with other countries — polar opposite how the West and Jewish state operate.

Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said once the UN arms embargo is lifted in October,

“we will be able to satisfy our needs with the help of countries with which we have strategic relations, for example, Russia and China,” adding:

“We can provide for ourselves. We can even export weapons.”

“(W)hen necessary, we can buy from these countries. I doubt that secondary US sanctions will be an obstacle for them.”

As of Sunday, Russia intends to cooperate with Iran militarily.

Weeks earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said the following:

“New opportunities will emerge in our cooperation with Iran after the special regime imposed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231 expires on October 18,” adding:

Russian relations with Iran will have “nothing to do with the unlawful and illegal actions of the US (regime), which is trying to intimidate the entire world.”

“(W)e are not afraid of US sanctions. We are used to them. It will not affect our policy in any way,” adding:

“Our cooperation with Iran is multifaceted. Defense cooperation will progress depending on the two countries’ needs and mutual willingness.”

Separately, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said

“(t)here is no such thing as an arms embargo against Iran.”

“The Security Council, when it was adopting (Res 2231) settled the nuclear issue for Iran, and this was adopted by consensus under the Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter,” adding:

“The Security Council in that resolution said that the supply of arms to Iran and from Iran would be subject to consideration by the Security Council and that on the 18th of October, 2020 this regime of sales to Iran would stop.”

“There is no embargo, and there would be no limitations whatsoever after the expiration of this timeframe established by the Security Council.”

Russia and China are likeminded on relations with Iran, including issues related to normalized trade and arms sales.

The South China Morning Post earlier said the Sino/Iran “relationship (is) built on trade, weapons and oil.”

On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the following:

The “oppressive (arms) embargo (on Iran ends) on Sunday.”

Henceforth, “we can buy and sell weapons, and this was one of the measures taken by the Government of Prudence and Hope.”

Separately, Iran’s parliamentary National Security Committee head Mojtaba Zolnouri said the following:

“Countries which are parties to the JCPOA must formally announce the lifting of arms restrictions, in accordance with the JCPOA, and let the world know that the Islamic Republic of Iran is allowed to buy and sell arms.”

US threats to try blocking Russia and China from selling arms to Iran were hollow.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova explained the following:

In 2015, the “Security Council did not impose a weapons embargo on Iran in 2015. Tehran voluntarily undertook a number of restrictions.”

“It was done in the interests of the soonest successful outcome of the talks on the (JCPOA) to settle the situation around the Iranian nuclear program.”

JCPOA signatories “knew from the very beginning” that voluntary restrictions Iran accepted “had nothing to do with” consummating the nuclear deal.

Trump regime “maximum pressure” on Iran — economic, financial, and medical terrorism by another name — failed to achieve its aims.

The same goes for US sanctions war on China, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, and other countries.

Used as weapons of war by other means — a UN Charter breach — they only achieve hardships on ordinary people in targeted countries, while hardening their leadership to resist US war by other means.

On Thursday, Iran’s UN envoy Mohammad Zareian slammed Trump regime “unilateral, illegal” economic terrorism, its “mass violation of human rights” that harms millions of people worldwide.

Farcical US elections when held change nothing.

Nonviolent resistance alone is the antidote to its war on humanity at home and abroad. There’s no other way.

A Final Comment

On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry released the following statement in response to the arms embargo’s expiration, saying:

“As of (Sunday, October 18), all restrictions on the transfer of arms, related activities and financial services to and from the Islamic Republic of Iran, and all prohibitions regarding the entry into or transit through territories of the United Nations Member States previously imposed on a number of Iranian citizens and military officials are all automatically terminated.”

“In one of the JCPOA’s innovations, the definitive and unconditional termination of arms restrictions and travel bans requires no new resolution, nor does it require any statement or any other measure by the Security Council.”

“Therefore, as of today, the Islamic Republic of Iran may procure any necessary arms and equipment from any source without any legal restrictions and solely based on its defensive needs, and may also export defensive armaments based on its own policies.”

“It should be underlined here that rejecting imposition in any form is the cornerstone of Iran’s foreign policy.”

“Therefore, the imposition of any restriction on any field—including finance, the economy, energy, and armaments—has never been recognized by Iran. At the same time, Iran’s defense doctrine is premised on strong reliance on its people and indigenous capabilities.”

“This doctrine has been and will continue to be the principal driver behind all measures of the Islamic Republic of Iran in maintaining its strong defensive power. Unconventional arms, weapons of mass destruction and a buying spree of conventional arms have no place in Iran’s defense doctrine.”

“The country’s deterrence stems from native knowledge and capability, as well as our people’s power and resilience. In contemporary history Iran—despite its power disparity—has never started a war. Regrettably lucrative weapon deals—concluded mainly between Western powers and some regional countries—have contributed greatly to, and aggravated commission of, war crimes in the region, including the ongoing aggression against the Yemeni people.”

“Notwithstanding the failed attempts by the US to withhold and eliminate Iran’s benefits from Resolution 2231, Member States are required to make their laws and regulations compatible with the resolution, which “invites Member States to give due regard to these changes.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran draws the attention of all Member States to the unambiguous provisions of the Resolution 2231 and its relevant timetables.”

“The United States, whose unlawful and malign subterfuge in its attempts to further violate a UNSC Resolution have been categorically rejected several times in the past three months by the Security Council, must abandon its destructive approach vis-à-vis Resolution 2231; return to full compliance with its commitments under the United Nations Charter; stop violating international law and ignoring international order, and cease further destabilization in the West Asia region.”

“It is evident that any measure against the provisions of UNSC Resolution 2231—particularly paragraph 1 and its defined timetables—will amount to a material breach of the resolution and the purposes of the JCPOA. In that event, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to take any necessary countermeasures to secure its national interests.”

Note: In stark contrast to the US, NATO, and Israel, Iran fosters peace, stability, and mutual cooperation with other nations.

Because of its independence, free from US control, its threatened by dark forces from abroad and forced to defend itself against possible aggression if launched.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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