Following the expiry of UN arms embargo against Iran, Tehran asserted that United States is afraid of its potential for arms exports and hence threatening sanctions against countries that trade in arms with the Islamic republic.
“Iran possesses more export potential rather than being a market for purchase [of arms],” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a press conference on Monday, reminding that 90 percent of the country’s defensive needs are being manufactured indigenously. “What they (the Americans) are afraid of is Iran’s comeback to the expansive armaments technology and export market,” he added.
The remarks came a day after 13 years of prohibition on the Islamic Republic’s trade in conventional weapons ended in line with a provision included in the country’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers. Khatibzadeh called the development a “great victory for the resistance and the Iranian nation.”
Iran’s defense minister says the country is going to support the countries that seek to defend their existence now that the UN Security Council’s restrictions on Tehran’s arms trade are lifted.
Brigadier General Amir Hatami said Iran will sell arms to the countries despised by the Americans if they ask for it.
“Many countries have already talked to us; we have held negotiations with some countries, and the grounds are totally prepared for exchanges [of weapons], both for selling [arms to other countries] and for supplying certain needs [buying weapons],” Hatami said in a televised interview on Sunday night.
He said Iran’s goal is first to become self-sufficient and powerful in terms of defensive capabilities, and second to support the countries that seek to defend their existence.
Iran possesses expertise in arrack and surveillance drones, upgrades of US fighter jets such as the F-5, helicopter repair, land army weapons and naval systems. In terms of domestic arms manufacturing ability, Iran is second only to Israel in the Middle East.
Iran is already conducting negotiations with Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and several other countries in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa for weapons sales while it is conducting purchase negotiations with Russia. Iran is a potential customer for the Russian S-400 Air defence systems and the Su-30 fighter jets.
The United States has threatened to impose sanctions on any individuals and entities that get engaged in arms transfer to and from Iran, claiming that the sales to Tehran would be in breach of United Nations resolutions despite the lifting of a decade-long arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Sunday “The United States is prepared to use its domestic authorities to sanction any individual or entity that materially contributes to the supply, sale, or transfer of conventional arms to or from Iran."