The global arms embargo against Iran, imposed via UN Security Council Resolution 2231, will shockingly be lifted in five months.
If it’s lifted, the world should expect an escalation of Iran’s export of terrorism, destabilization of its neighbors, and a surge in domestic suppression. The issue has drawn great concern in the international community and among human rights organizations. If the mullahs have wrought so much havoc with sanctions applied, imagine what they will do with no sanctions whatsoever.
It’s an ugly prospect.
The great powers of the world have reacted to this reality in accordance with their own individual interests; China and Russia want it lifted, the U.S. is using all the leverage it has to extend the sanctions.
Last week, Brian Hook, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran warned that if the UN Security Council does not agree to an extension of sanctions on Iran, Washington may use an important mechanism embedded in the resolution, which grants the possibility of reviving the arms embargo and also all sanctions against Iran. Here is a brief look at the negative and lethal fruits of lifting the arms embargo for the whole region:
1- It will enable the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) to obtain military equipment at lower prices to supply its proxy groups including the Houthis in Yemen, Kataeb Hezbollah in Iraq, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as its forces in Syria, with weapons of war.
2- The allocated budget to Iran’s revolutionary guards this year has increased to $3.8 billion. To this, one must add IRGC’s other sources of income (having in mind that IRGC dominates Iran’s economy). Such a budget will provide this military organ with the money needed to purchase cruise missile parts, equipment needed for its helicopters, and drones for combat and suicide missions. They will have cash for assault helicopters, ships, missile platforms, high-speed boats, sea mines, and night vision equipment. It will also, help the IRGC to upgrade its Russian-built T-72 tanks and provide spare parts as well as training for its minions.
3- Iran while being under an arms embargo nevertheless carried out three major assaults last year:
· Retaliation attack against a U.S. base in Iraq with ballistic missiles
· Mining oil tankers in the Persian Gulf
· Using speed boats to take an oil tanker hostage
In addition, it downed an Ukrainian airliner by cruise missiles killing 157 souls.
4- According to Reuters, in its semi-annual report to the UNSC, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutierrez stated that both the cruise missiles fired and the drone used at the blitz on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities originated from Iran.
5- According to a report published in The Independent, Iran’s air force consists of 304 fighter jets of different models, 89 of which are ready for combat. Among these only 25, F-4E PhantomII bombers and six Su-24MK bombers are capable of carrying out missions beyond Iran’s border. Lifting the sanction will increase this capacity.
6- If the arms embargo is lifted, the Iranian regime will have greater capability to detour the sanctions and acquire materiel or use its assets of dual purpose. As an example, the regime supplies its Quds force militia in Syria through Mahan Air; the lifting will give it a free hand to translocate its militias and Quds Force commanders as well as ammunition and weaponry. Currently, Mahan Air is under sanctions.
7- If sanctions are lifted, the Iranian regime will be able to buy a vast array of armaments including VT-4 tanks to equip several of its corps. As an instance, only a few days past JCPOA, a military mission visited Russia Max exhibition negotiating the purchase of military equipment after UNSC’s arms embargo was over with Russian officials. The regime expressed its willingness to buy a great number of SU-30SM bombers to replace its old bombers and compensate for its shortage of modern bombers.
8- As the sanctions are lifted the regime will be able to export some cheaply manufactured weaponry by its Defense and Armed Forces Logistics to the regional states thus compensating a part of its heavy expenses for research, development, and production of military armament. This will lead to an armament contest among the states, leading in turn regional destabilization, with very dangerous consequences.
9- Since 2013 the IRGC is producing various models of tanks, armored carriers, missiles, radars, boats, submarines, man-free vehicles, and jet fighters. Lifting the sanctions will swiftly accelerate its production, turning the region into a powder keg.
Any partial lifting of the arms embargo has proven beneficial to the Iranian regime. The regime in fact has found its survival in this, used the space to disturb the peace in other countries. The Iranian people in their uprisings in November 2019 have demonstrated their will and shown that they have made up their minds to get rid of this violentand medieval religious dictatorship. The regime, on the other hand, has realized its survival depends on the export of crisis and instability beyond its borders. This, of course, includes the export of terrorism against its opposition in various countries.
This was the backbone of the regime’s policy of survival for the past four decades. Any logical mind rules out giving weapons to mullahs, because this would aggravate the region’s conflicts and facilitate the killing of deprived people in many countries.
Therefore, the world must act to keep the arms embargo in place, directed at Iran.
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