The U.N. arms embargo on Iran is officially supposed to have been lifted, despite vehement U.S. opposition, and the regime in Iran, on the surface at least, seems quietly confident that the lifting of the embargo will actually hold.
Tehran thinks it has won
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said that Sunday 18th October, when the embargo was supposed to have been officially lifted, would be “the day of U.S. defeat.”
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) April 27, 2020
An Iranian spokesperson for the U.N. Iran mission said that this was because the U.S.’s position on extending the embargo was not supported by others on the Security Council with the sole exception of the Dominican Republic. The spokesperson, Alireza Miryousefi, said “it is abundantly clear that the UN – and the overwhelming majority of its member states – reject the U.S.’s so-called maximum pressure policy on Iran.”
Whether other governments will actually oppose the U.S. if it steps up pressure for an embargo extension is open to question. The U.S. attempted to invoke the “snapback” provision of the nuclear deal that it signed with others in2015, but this also failed as the right to invoke the snapback was waived as a result of President Trump pulling out of the agreement in May 2018. The U.S. may still continue with an embargo whatever the provisions of the agreement.
The @Mojahedineng is the number one alternative in Iran #WeSupportMEK We have to restore human rights, continue the embargo to stop the mullahs. We have to expel all those so-called diplomats #DisbandIRGC https://t.co/c7VZpUHD1A
— Iran Freedom (@4FreedominIran) October 21, 2020
European governments oppose the embargo extension but may not fight it in practice
The mullahs are relying to a large extent on European powers opposing the U.S. embargo extension push, but their expectations may not be justified. France, Germany, and Britain may all be opposed to the U.S. plan, to different extents, but even if they have opposed it, in practice they may still stick with the embargo. Others in the international community may do the same.
There is a precedent for this in the response of many countries to the unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S. and the threat of retaliation by the U.S. against other countries who didn’t do the same. Countries that had been trading with both the U.S. and Iran and had opposed sanctions preferred not to annoy the U.S. rather than favor Iran for their own economic interests being served better with the more valuable American market.
Any nation that sells weapons to Iran enables the regime’s diversion of funds away from its citizens and towards the regime’s military aims. We stand with the Iranian people against their oppressors. https://t.co/EmS8BtkxdC. https://t.co/HHUIVaEVXU
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) October 18, 2020
The Iranian regime has acted as if the lifting of the embargo will mean they can purchase arms from anywhere in the world, but this boast may not actually bear fruit.
Miryousefi certainly thinks that the embargo lifting will certainly be a reality, at least for some of Iran’s major arms providers. “Iran has many friends and trading partners,” he said. Miryousefi thinks that there are sufficient numbers of arms manufacturers who will be keen on selling arms to Iran after the embargo is lifted to help Iran’s “robust domestic arms industry” and “ensure its defense requirements against foreign aggression.”
The regime may find that even nations who might have seen to have been favorable to start selling arms again to Iran are not so insensitive to what other more cautious nations are likely to do.
The UN arms embargo on #Iran came to an end on October 18 thanks to the Obama/Biden nuclear deal.
Now Iran's genocidal regime intends to purchase North Korean weaponry & technology, especially missiles, in exchange for oil.https://t.co/67jnQIY4Dt
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) October 20, 2020
A case in point is the sale of advanced Russian-made SAM missiles to Iran. A deal had been arranged to provide Iran with the latest missiles before the signing of the JCPOA nuclear agreement in 2015 but didn’t go ahead because of Russian sensitivity to agreement parties.
Concern about selling arms to Iran may also arise because Iran’s financial crisis has made it more difficult for the regime to pay for arms in hard cash, while barter agreements may not be as attractive as they have been in the past.
The mullahs hope that Iraq will cooperate
Iranian funds in Iraqi banks that have remained frozen because of American pressure may be released if a pending agreement between the Iraqi and Iranian governments goes ahead. The agreement was also accompanied by “extensive talks on trade relations between Iran and Iraq,” according to the head of Ira’s Central Bank, Abdolnasser Hemmati. If this is true it may signal a shift away from sanctions compliance by Iraq as Iranian influence in Iraq appears to grow.
The Al-Kazemi government released funds estimated at 10 billion dollars to Iran in exchange for a pledge by Hezbollah and Iranian militias not to bomb the US embassy. Do the Americans know what Iraqi banks are doing? Or is the American administration dealing in several ways ؟؟ pic.twitter.com/GW0Ur1IAeC
— هيا الشمري (@d5lKoFMTqWBFA7h) October 14, 2020
If the U.S. fails to have the arms embargo extended, one fear is that Iran’s renewed ability to but advanced arms may lead to many of these ending up in the hands of Iraqi militias in Iraq who are attempting to force the U.S. military presence out of that country. There have been 90 rocket attacks against U.S. military bases within Iraq this year alone. The militias which are backed by the regime in Iran have called for a ceasefire as long as the U.S. provides details of a timetable for a military withdrawal.
The Trump administration has put forward plans to reduce the number of troops in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 and has also threatened to close down the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as a result of the rocket attacks. Critics of this proposal say that this would simply play into the hands of the Iranian regime as it would extend its effective influence over Iraq.
— Indus News (@indusdotnews) September 9, 2020
Ahmed al-Assadi, a representative of one of the militias in the Iraqi government, has hinted that any ceasefire may only be short, just enough for the government to negotiate a swift withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. “A truce lasting longer than the end of the year doesn’t make much sense. We’re only giving the government more time to negotiate the withdrawal,” he said.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry seems to be exuding confidence that the embargo will hold and is predicting that this would ‘mark the day of U.S. defeat in the Middle East.”
“Iran will hold a sword of Damocles over the economic stability of the Middle East."@MikePompeo warns the expiration of the Iranian arms embargo could backfire on Russia and China.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 30, 2020
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) U.S. Office hosted a panel in September 2020, panel of guests shared their concerns about the regime’s determination to create a nuclear weapon, its role as the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world, and the need to restore U.N. sanctions on the regime.
Before the JCPOA, the Iranian regime tried its best to attain its nuclear ambitions as having the status of a nuclear country. However, these ambitions were shattered by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran).
An #ArmsEmbargo against the religious fascism ruling #Iran is indispensable to regional & global peace & security. The regime’s unimpeded purchase & sale of weapons will have no result other than #terrorism , warmongering & export of fundamentalism.
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) August 14, 2020
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI’s President-elect emphasized that an arms embargo against the religious fascism ruling Iran is indispensable to regional and global peace and security. The regime’s unimpeded purchase and sale of weapons will have no result other than terrorism, warmongering, and export of fundamentalism.
Analysis by PMOI / MEK IranThe international community is at a critical juncture on Iran. World powers will have to…
Amb. Marc Ginsberg, the former U.S. envoy to Morocco, said: “What we tend to forget is how many tens of thousands of innocent Iranians have been murdered by this regime to maintain its hold on power… We can’t bet on the nuclear deal as an end-all to Iran’s bad behavior. We need a new alliance between the U.S. and Europe to support what the people need. We must support the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) and the NCRI and Madam Maryam Rajavi.”