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E3 must extend Iran’s arms embargo for global security

As the expiration date for Iran’s arms embargo under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal approaches, once again tensions among the P5+1 (the US, Russia, UK, France, China and Germany) are escalating.


Unfortunately, one of the major concessions granted to the Islamic Republic during the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiations was linked to the UN’s arms embargo against the Iranian regime. From the outset, the US and the E3 (Germany, the UK and France) should not have agreed to negotiate a date with the Iranian authorities for the lifting of the arms embargo within the nuclear talks.


The arms embargo, imposed on the theocratic establishment by the UN Security Council (UNSC) prior to the nuclear negotiations, should have been considered a totally separate topic from Tehran’s nuclear defiance. The arms embargo was related to Iran’s conventional weapons and ballistic missile technology, efforts to smuggle weapons, arming of militia groups, and sponsoring of terror groups across the region. The ban was leveled against a range of weaponry, including large-caliber artillery, combat aircraft, battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, attack helicopters, some missiles and missile launchers, and warships. It was passed through several UNSC resolutions between 2006 and 2010.


Therefore, it was a major political failure that the world powers surrendered to the Iranian leaders’ demand and included a lenient policy on the arms embargo in the nuclear deal. The JCPOA should have only concentrated on Iran’s nuclear activities.


Currently, the only member of the P5+1 that is calling for an extension of the arms embargo beyond October is the US. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft have been urging the global powers to make extending the arms embargo against Iran a top priority. Craft stressed in a press briefing that: “Russia and China need to join a global consensus on Iran’s conduct. This is about not only the people of Iran but the people in the Middle East.”


But there is no incentive for Russia to extend the arms embargo, and Moscow’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia has already made it clear that it will oppose any UNSC resolution to extend the ban.

 

As the expiration date for Iran’s arms embargo under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal approaches, once again tensions among the P5+1

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