Concerns Iran will upgrade weapons if embargo ends
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.