Security

Tensions rise after Iran vows to buy and sell weapons as embargo ends

Salaam Times and AFP

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Members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) gather for a meeting in Tehran on September 19. Expanding Chinese assistance to Iran will mean Beijing will be providing direct support to the IRGC, an arm of the Iranian military officially designated as a terrorist organisation. [Iranian Ministry of Defense]

International tensions rose Monday (October 19) following the expiration of an United Nations (UN) conventional arms embargo on Iran, as the Russian and Chinese regimes eye new weapons sales to Tehran while the United States considers any such moves as in breach of international law.

Tehran said the ban imposed more than a decade ago was lifted "automatically" as of Sunday (October 18), based on the terms of a 2015 landmark nuclear deal with world powers, from which the United States has withdrawn.

The lifting of the embargo allows Iran to buy and sell military equipment including tanks, armoured vehicles, combat aircraft, helicopters and heavy artillery.

Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami told state television October 18 that "a number of countries" have contacted Iran on potential arms trade.

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Iranian military personnel prepare to fire a long-range missile on September 11. [Iranian Ministry of Defense]

"As of today, the Islamic Republic may procure any necessary arms and equipment from any source without any legal restrictions, and solely based on its defensive needs," the Iranian Foreign Ministry added in the statement sent out on Twitter.

Tehran also October 19 said it is more inclined to sell weapons rather than buy them.

"Before being a buyer in the arms market, Iran has the ability to supply" other countries, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters.

"Our sales will be much more expansive (than purchases)," said Hatami.

Russia and China eye arms deals

Moscow and Beijing, both long-time critics of the embargo, appear poised to ink deals with Tehran.

Iranian officials have made a number of trips to both Russia and China over the past few months regarding security, trade and more.

Asked if the Chinese regime would now sell arms to Tehran, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian October 19 did not directly address the issue but said Beijing would "handle military trade in accordance with its military export policy and its international obligations".

Moscow said in September that it was ready to boost its military co-operation with Tehran, while Beijing has also spoken of its willingness to sell arms to Tehran after October 18.

In July, a proposed agreement between the Chinese and Iranian regimes described deepening military co-operation, calling for joint training and exercises, joint research and weapons development and intelligence sharing.

Many observers say the agreement will bring about a host of negative effects for the region and beyond, as a weakened and cornered Iranian regime -- teetering on the brink of economic collapse, facing major domestic disillusionment with the ruling regime, and cut off from most of the world because of its ongoing pursuit of nuclear weapons and its arming of militias across the Middle East and South Asia -- will be at the mercy of an emboldened and assertive Beijing.

Arms sales to Iran will breach UN resolutions and will result in sanctions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said October 18.

"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," Pompeo said in a statement.

"Every nation that seeks peace and stability in the Middle East and supports the fight against terrorism should refrain from any arms transactions with Iran."

"For the past 10 years, countries have refrained from selling weapons to Iran under various UN measures. Any country that now challenges this prohibition will be very clearly choosing to fuel conflict and tension over promoting peace and security," said Pompeo.

Lingering nuclear concerns

An exiled Iran opposition group said Friday (October 16) it had uncovered a secret new military site run by a shadowy Iranian Defence Ministry research unit that they fear is being used for testing in the country's nuclear programme.

Work on the site in Sorkheh-Hessar, east of Tehran, is used by sections of the secretive Organisation of Defensive Innovation and Research, overseen by the Defence Ministry, said the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

A section devoted to geophysics known as the Chamran Group is at the site and, according to the NCRI, "works on projects related to underground nuclear tests".

Its focus has included tests "for preliminary explosions to build nuclear weapons and record results by seismometers". Previous tests had taken place at a site south of Semnan, the group said.

It alleged that the Iranian regime had "engaged in the secret and illicit purchase of military-grade sensitive seismometers from Russia" to carry out the work.

The NCRI did not provide proof that such testing work was taking place at the new site,but argued that its existence showed again that the Iranian regime was breaching the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal signed with world powers.

"Our revelation today once again proves ... that the [deal] did not prevent the mullahs' activities to acquire nuclear weapons and [that] even the regime has reneged on its commitments," the NCRI said.

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Saadi (May God bless him) says, Human beings are members of a whole In creation of one essence and soul If one member is afflicted with pain Other members uneasy will remain Which has not differed the humans based on their religion or religious sect, region and other properties, and God says, he who is pious is closer to God. He has not said that you have to punish the sinner, it is better that I myself punish him. We have to give hands to each other and prevent implementation of the evil plans of infidels and arrogance, and make our land an everlasting paradise for tomorrow's generations.

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More sanctions need to be imposed on Iran; otherwise, this country will pose a serious threat to the region and the world. I think if Taliban are strengthened against Iran, They can teach them a very good lesson, because most of the Afghan government authorities including the second Vice President Sarwar Danish and Abdullah Abdullah are the spies and slaves of Iran.

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Iran is considered a great threat for the countries of the region. I think if the militancy and terror activities of Iran are not prevented, Iran will make a more dangerous threat than Pakistan to Afghanistan and the world.

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The war in the world is basically among some great powers of the world, and the other countries wage the proxy wars of these few limited number of countries. All the large weapon-making factories are in the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and China, and these countries try to create war in some other places of the world so that they sell their weapons. Where will they sell their weapons if there isn’t war in any parts of the world? When the United States sells its weapons to India, the Arab countries and Israel in order to be prepared against Iran, Pakistan and Pakistani terrorist groups, China and Russia may also try to sell their weapons to Pakistan and Iran so that these two countries become prepared against other countries, which are fighting for the interests of America. Therefore, the war in the world is the war of great powers, and it has been imposed on the weak countries, and poor and destitute people in the countries like Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and other countries are being killed every day. If these powerful countries of the world put aside their unhealthy rivalries and work for the welfare of humanity, the war in all countries of the world will end. May God guide them all so that peace restores in the region and the world.

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The way America strengthens Israel as a cancer for the countries of the region, Russia and China may also try to turn Iran into another cancer for the Arab countries. I think the five countries that have the right of veto in the United Nation Security Council are trying to strengthen Israel and Iran for Islamic countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. All the Islamic countries should take action against Iran and Israel and wipe out these two evil countries from the map of the world.

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