Tehran, Iran – An international conventional arms embargo on Iran, imposed 13 years ago by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), will officially end on Sunday.
It means Iran will be legally able to buy and sell conventional arms, including small arms, missiles, helicopters and tanks.
The arms embargo ends as part of Resolution 2231 of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers that gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The US unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018, with President Donald Trump calling it “the worst deal ever”, and has since imposed waves of harsh economic sanctions on Iran.
The US and Israel have vehemently opposed the end of the arms embargo and have repeatedly tried to stop it.
In mid-August, the US introduced a resolution to indefinitely extend the arms embargo, which was resoundingly rejected by the UNSC.
Only the Dominican Republic voted in favour of the resolution, while 11 members of the 15-member body, including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, together known as the E3, abstained. Russia and China opposed the extension.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed the UNSC members’ decision as “inexcusable” and said, “Iran will spread even greater chaos and destruction if the embargo expires”.
In September, the US unilaterally announced it has reinstated all UN sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal, a move which would automatically extend the arms embargo as well.
Once more, the overwhelming