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UN arms embargo of Iran set to expire


UN arms embargo of Iran set to expire

UN arms embargo expires
Photo: Sepahnews/ AP

The UN arms embargo against Iran under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is set to expire today.

The JCPOA set in place a number of restrictions—monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency—on Iranian nuclear research and development in exchange for relief of US, EU and UN sanctions. This relief is scheduled to take effect today, however the US under President Donald Trump pulled out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and reinstated sanctions. Washington claims the JCPOA has failed to protect US national security interests due to Iranian noncompliance. The EU and UN refute these claims, arguing Iran has abided by the agreement.

While the UN has promised to uphold the original expiration date and has rejected the US snapback, expect today’s relief to have a minor impact on Iranian arms trade. Trump’s executive order will continue to prevent many countries from trading with Iran for fear of secondary US sanctions, effectively rendering today’s expiration worthless. While many believe the JCPOA will effectively prevent further Iranian nuclear development, missile technology purchased after the sanctions are lifted and adapted for nuclear use could restart Iran’s nuclear capabilities, especially if US claims of Iran’s noncompliance are true.

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