The United States on Sunday threatened that it would slap sanctions on any groups or organizations that will aid Iran’s weapons program, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. There have been fears that it would further escalate rifts between Washington and Tehran.
The move was triggered following the expiration of the decade-long U.N. arms embargo on Iran, which denied the Islamic Republic from purchasing any foreign weapons like fighter jets and tanks, on Sunday despite immense disapproval from the U.S.
“For the past ten years, countries have refrained from selling weapons to Iran under various U.N. measures. Any country that now challenges this prohibition will be very clearly choosing to fuel conflict and tension over promoting peace and security. Any nation that sells weapons to Iran is impoverishing the Iranian people by enabling the regime’s diversion of funds away from the people and toward the regime’s military aims.”Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
The West Asian country complimented the dissolution of the arms embargo, calling it a “momentous day for the international community, in defiance of the U.S. regime’s effort.”
“Today’s normalization of Iran’s defense cooperation with the world is a win for the cause of multilateralism and peace and security in our region.”Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
On the other hand, the Trump administration claimed that the expiration of U.N. restrictions on Iran remains unsettled, following its efforts to reimpose the Islamic Republic’s sanctions, which includes the arms embargo through Trump’s backing out of the nuclear deal in 2018. However, no other nation has recognized such efforts except the Trump administration.
It can be recalled that the U.N. disallowed Iran from purchasing any major foreign arms systems back in 2010 when a quarrel over their nuclear program ignited. The sanction was initially addressed to ban weapon exports from Iran.
Last year, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency publicized a forecast where they said that if the embargo expired, the Islamic Republic would likely aim to buy Su-30 fighter jets from Russia, Yak-130 trainer aircraft, and T-90 tanks.
Earlier this year, tensions between U.S. and Iran reached its turning point after the assassination of the latter’s top general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad.
Meanwhile, Defense experts predict that Iran would likely buy small-scale figures of advanced weapons systems rather than investing in massive amounts of tanks or expensive fighter jets.