Con­cerns Iran will up­grade weapons if em­bargo ends

The National - News - - FRONT PAGE - THOMAS HARD­ING Lon­don

Iran will sig­nif­i­cantly ex­pand its mil­i­tary ar­se­nal by buy­ing high-grade weapons from China and Russia once the arms em­bargo ends in Oc­to­ber, lead­ing de­fence analysts said.

If the UN ban is lifted, ad­vanced jets, sub­marines and the world’s most ad­vanced air de­fence mis­siles – bar those from the US – are likely to be snapped up by Tehran.

The Ira­ni­ans will be able to “rad­i­cally in­crease their ca­pa­bil­i­ties” if they can buy hard­ware at a much re­duced price as the coun­try plays off Russia and China against each other, said analysts at the In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute for Strate­gic Stud­ies.

To pre­vent high-end arms sales the US will work hard to stop the 13-year em­bargo be­ing lifted in Oc­to­ber and has al­ready cir­cu­lated a draft UN res­o­lu­tion.

The Amer­i­cans fear that de­spite the cur­rent ban Iran is still arm­ing prox­ies in Ye­men and Syria; lift­ing the ban will make the process sig­nif­i­cantly eas­ier.

Iran will fo­cus on air de­fences, said Henry Boyd, of IISS. “It’s the air force and air de­fence sec­tor they will look to pri­ori­tise if they can get ac­cess to it. More ad­vanced sys­tems from China could rad­i­cally in­crease their ca­pa­bil­i­ties,”

Iran could buy Russia’s S-400 sys­tem – a con­tro­ver­sial pur­chase by Turkey – that would threaten re­gional in­ter­ests and US com­bat air­craft.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.