UN urged to retain weapons ban on Tehran
Iran would be the ‘arms dealer of choice for world’s rogue regimes’
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.