Iran could become hub of arms trafficking and exports as embargo ends

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Iran’s Press TV says the country produces 90% of its arms locally and that Iran is one of the leading top ten countries in the world in terms of indigenous production.

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, July 2020 (photo credit: KHAMENEI.IR)

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, July 2020

(photo credit: KHAMENEI.IR)

Iran’s own media has bragged that Tehran will soon become an exporter of weapons as the arms embargo on the country ends.

The arms embargoes on Iran are ending despite US calls for them to be extended. The embargo on Iran exporting arms was supposed to be in force for five years after the Iran Deal, the JCPOA, was adopted in October 2015.

Iran’s Press TV says the country produces 90% of its arms locally and that Iran is one of the leading top 10 countries in the world in terms of indigenous production. Arms embargoes that began in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war led the country to “produce a wide array of hardware over the years, including its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, radars, boats, submarines, UAVs and fighter planes.”

Iran also boasts cruise missiles it says can go more than 1,000km.

According to their Defense Ministry, Iran is already a defense superpower, producing some 38,000 military-grade parts.

“Sanctions have so far had minimal negative effects on countries and groups allied with Iran as part of the so-called ‘resistance axis’ formed against foreign and Zionist intervention,” Press TV says.

Iran is considering not only exports of weapons but also what to do in the face of US “maximum pressure” and attempts to trigger “snapback” sanctions by the US. An article from Fars News reveals that Iran is watching the US presidential election closely. However, despite the view in the US that US presidential candidate Joe Biden might be more keen on returning to the Iran Deal, Tehran is not as enthusiastic.

“Biden’s presence in the White House, if not more harmful for Iran, at least has the same consequences as Trump’s presence in this position. A look at the Democratic campaign document also confirms continuation of the same containment strategy that has been in place since the Obama administration.”

In short: Iran will move forward with provocations and weapons import and export regardless of the US election, according to this one report at least.

Iran’s goal is to isolate the US and leverage what it sees as its successes during the Trump years so far on the world stage.

Iran is under crippling sanctions, but its narrative is that it can still export and develop weapons. Tehran in recent months boasted about new ranges for drones, new precision weapons for drones, new missiles, a satellite, new naval weapons and new radar.

The country’s message is that it is still full steam ahead. However foreign reports indicate that Iran suffered mysterious setbacks at the Natanz nuclear facility and at a missile facility and that it is unable to pay its proxies in Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon due to US sanctions.

The article on the arms exports shows Iran’s plans in the coming months. It illustrates that the regime wants to legally export weapons, not just do so clandestinely as it has already done in the region.

Iran has sent ballistic missiles to Iraq in 2018 and 2019, Reuters reported, and Iran has sent at least three ships laden with weapons to the Houthis in Yemen, all of which were intercepted by the US, and Iran sends air defense and other weapons to Syria, while sending precision guided munitions to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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