In 2015, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2231, endorsing the nuclear agreement between Iran and the major world powers, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. But the resolution also established a five-year embargo on conventional arms sales going in and out of Iran, replacing earlier resolutions that had levied more permanent restrictions on such sales. Five years on, the moratorium is set to expire on October 18, 2020, although the Trump administration is determined to extend it. If it does expire, Iran will, at least in theory, be allowed to import and export heavy weaponry such as tanks, combat aircraft, and missile systems virtually overnight.
This raises the questions: What are the implications for Iran if the ban is not extended? What are the strategic consequences to United States security and countries in the Middle East? Will Iran rush to rebuild its conventional military arsenal by purchasing new arms, possibly from Russia and China?
Read the full article at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.