After the Embargo: Iran’s Weapons Agenda

October 20, 2020

Weapon Program: 

  • Military


Ali Alfoneh

Author's Title: 

Senior Fellow


Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington

The lifting of the arms embargo is not likely to result in an Iranian buying spree. But, the Islamic Republic’s arms exports in the post-embargo era may prove as significant as its potential procurements.

“As of today, the Islamic Republic of Iran may procure any necessary arms or equipment from any source without any legal restrictions and solely based on its defensive needs, and may also export defensive armaments based on its own policies,” Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared in an October 18 press statement.

The administration of President Donald J. Trump, which unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal on May 8, 2018, failed in its attempt to extend the international arms embargo enshrined in United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1737 and 1747 and is now relying on its domestic authorities to deter conventional arms transfers to and from Iran. In the zero-sum game of U.S.-Iranian relations, Washington’s failure is Tehran’s success. But apart from a diplomatic victory, what is the Islamic Republic’s weapons agenda in the post-embargo era?


Read the full blog post at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.