Beyond Arms Embargo, Obstacles Remain to Iran’s Acquisition of Russian Weapons

October 15, 2020

Weapon Program: 

  • Military


Nicole Grajewski


Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

On Oct. 18, the U.N. conventional arms embargo on Iran will expire despite the Trump administration’s numerous attempts to extend the embargo and induce “snap back” provisions. Russia has made its categorical rejection of Washington’s efforts to keep Iran from resuming arms exports crystal clear; however, opposition to the extension of the embargo should not be mistaken as an indication that Moscow will rush to sell weapons to Tehran. Even though Moscow may possess commercial interests in exporting arms to Tehran, numerous financial, technical and political obstacles complicate Iran’s acquisition of Russian weapons and military equipment.

Moscow Unimpressed by Prospects of U.S. Sanctions as Iran Eyes Russian Systems

The state of U.S.-Russian relations suggests that Washington lacks the leverage or trust in Moscow to reach an understanding on limiting the sale of weapons to Tehran akin to previous instances of U.S.-Russian cooperation like the 1995 Gore-Chernomyrdin agreement or U.N. Resolution 1929 and the S-300.


Read the full post at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.