Iranian authorities welcomed the lifting of the embargo that the UN imposed 13 years ago on the purchase of conventional weapons by the country - nothing having been worth the movements of the United States for the embargo to remain active. Iran says it is now again free to invest in strengthening the country's security.
The embargo was lifted on Sunday morning and was foreseen in the schedule of the nuclear agreement signed in 2015. Russia and China are the two countries most likely to sell weapons to Tehran, but analysts doubt the country will go to the market immediately, given the current fragility of its economy.
But Iran's financial situation and the continuing threat of new sanctions from the United States to anyone who does business with the country means that Tehran is unlikely to enter the market in the short term or reach levels of defense spending similar to those of its main rivals. Gulf: Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that "as of today, all restrictions on arms transfers, related activities and financial services to and from the Islamic Republic of Iran are automatically lifted". "The normalization of cooperation in the defense of Iran with the world is a victory for the cause of multilateralism, peace and security in our region," said Javad Zarif, foreign minister.
But the minister also said that "unconventional weapons, weapons of mass destruction and a wave of purchases of conventional weapons" have no place in the country's defense doctrine.
But the European Union and the United Kingdom must maintain a separate arms sale embargo on Iran, despite the lifting of the UN decision. France, Germany and the United Kingdom rejected the United States' efforts to impose a readjustment of all UN sanctions on Iran, fearing that Tehran would withdraw entirely from the joint comprehensive action plan (JCPOA), the official name of the 2015 agreement. three European powers believe that the JCPOA is still what prevents Iran from becoming a military nuclear power.
The JCPOA included clauses that stipulated the lifting of the UN arms embargo five years after it was signed on October 15, 2015. European powers hoped to negotiate a voluntary 18-month extension of the embargo, but failed to persuade Russia and China to support change in the UN Security Council.
The three European powers will now have a Union embargo, which was first introduced in 2007 and is set to continue until 2023. The embargo covers conventional weapons and missile technology.
Iran has always been free to buy purely defensive weapons, including the Russian-made S-400 air defense system. Last year, Iran's defense spending exceeded 17 billion euros.