UN urged to re­tain weapons ban on Tehran

Iran would be the ‘arms dealer of choice for world’s rogue regimes’

Arab News - - Front Page - Arab News Jed­dah Brian Hook US spe­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Iran

Eas­ing in­ter­na­tional pres­sure on Iran would en­able it to be­come “the arms dealer of choice for rogue regimes and ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions around the world,” the US warned on Sun­day.

Threats by Tehran to re­tal­i­ate if the UN ex­tends a weapons em­bargo due to ex­pire in Oc­to­ber were a “mafia tac­tic,” said Brian Hook, the US spe­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Iran. Hook said both an arms im­port and ex­port ban on Tehran must re­main in place to se­cure the wider Mid­dle East.

“If we let it ex­pire, you can be cer­tain that what Iran has been do­ing in the dark, it will do in broad day­light and then some,” he said. The UN em­bargo ban­ning Iran from buying weapons sys­tems was im­posed in 2010, amid grow­ing in­ter­na­tional con­cerns over Tehran’s nu­clear pro­gram.

The ban has pre­vented the regime from re­plac­ing its ag­ing mil­i­tary equip­ment, much of which dates from be­fore the

1979 rev­o­lu­tion. An ear­lier em­bargo tar­geted Ira­nian arms ex­ports. If the em­bargo is al­lowed to ex­pire, the US De­fense In­tel­li­gence Agency be­lieves the Tehran regime would try to buy Rus­sian Su-30 fighter jets, Yak-130 trainer air­craft and T-90 tanks. It also may try to buy Rus­sia’s S-400 anti-air­craft mis­sile sys­tem and its Bas­tian coastal de­fense mis­sile sys­tem, the DIA said.

Iran has threat­ened to ex­pel UN nu­clear in­spec­tors and with­draw from the Nu­clear Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty if the arms em­bargo is ex­tended. “If we play by Iran’s rules, Iran wins,” Hook said.

“It is a mafia tac­tic where peo­ple are in­tim­i­dated into ac­cept­ing a cer­tain kind of be­hav­ior for fear of some­thing far worse.”

The en­voy said the UN ban on Iran ex­port­ing weapons was equally im­por­tant, even though Tehran has flouted it. Ira­nian arms

If we play by Iran’s rules, Iran wins.

have turned up in the hands of Tehran-backed Houthi mili­tias in Yemen, who have tar­geted Saudi Ara­bia with mis­siles built in Iran.

“I don’t think any­one be­lieves that Iran’s be­hav­ior mer­its loos­en­ing re­stric­tions on their abil­ity to move weapons,” Hook said.

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