The October 18 expiration of a decade-long United Nations (UN) arms embargo on Iran has raised considerable speculation on what weapons the Islamic Republic will buy. However, the end of the embargo means that Iran can not only import military hardware but can also return to the market as an exporter.
President Hassan Rouhani has openly said that Iran expects to sell more arms than it procures. The statement was not surprising given Iran’s need to boost non-oil exports as well as Iran’s past expressions of readiness to export military hardware to its allies “in order to prevent wars.” Already in 2017, the Iranian defense industry participated in the IQDEX Defense, Security, and Aviation Exhibition in Baghdad. The Iranian stand was the second largest after China’s.
Iran’s track record as an arms seller is relatively limited compared to other countries in the region, such as Israel, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Iran’s main customer has been Iraq, which procured about $10 million in Iranian weapons just in 2014. They reportedly included communication systems, short-range multiple rocket launchers (the