Iran celebrates ‘defiance of US’ as UN arms embargo ends

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif declared victory via his Twitter account, writing, ‘A momentous day for the international community…in defiance of malign[ant] US efforts.’

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Iran’s Foreign Ministry released a statement Sunday celebrating the end of the longstanding United Nations embargo on arms sales, in line with conditions set forth in the 2015 nuclear deal signed by then-U.S. president Barack Obama.

“As of today, all restrictions on the transfer of arms, related activities and financial services to and from the Islamic Republic of Iran … are all automatically terminated,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry wrote on Twitter.

“The Islamic Republic may procure any necessary arms and equipment from any source without any legal restrictions, and solely based on its defensive needs.”

The UN Security Council originally imposed an arms embargo on Iran in 2007. In 2015, Tehran entered into a deal with Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France and the United States that saw Iran promise to halt its nuclear weapons program for relief from crushing economic sanctions.

In 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement and unsuccessfully attempted to renew the UN arms embargo against Iran before the restrictions expired.

While the UN says that the terms of the deal include a gradual ending the arms embargo, the Iranian government said “the lifting of arms restrictions and the travel ban were designed to be automatic with no other action required.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif declared victory via his Twitter account, writing, “A momentous day for the international community…in defiance of malign[ant] US efforts.”

“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 Ministry released  a statement claiming that “unconventional arms, weapons of mass destruction and a buying spree of conventional arms have no place” in the country’s plans.

Despite the UN embargo expiring, EU embargoes on arms exports and missile technology to Iran will remain in place until 2023.