Today the United Nations weapons embargo on Iran expires which has been in effect for 13 years but was negotiated to end on Oct.18 as a key stipulation of the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) brokered under Obama. The Trump administration has tried to fight the expiration of the embargo tooth and nail while claiming authority to enact snap back sanctions.
Iranian officials on Sunday hailed it as a “clear reality” of the defeat of the US on this front, with the ambassador to to the UK quoted in state-run IRNA saying, “Today the international community once again expressed support for multilateralism and openly opposed to the U.S. attempt to prevent the implementation of one of the significant achievements of international diplomacy.”
He underscored that “The US has been defeated in its diplomacy and this is a clear reality.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also celebrated the ‘victory’. He said on Twitter it was a “momentous day” as it marks the “normalization” of Iran’s defense cooperation with the world.
“A momentous day for the international community, which— in defiance of malign US efforts—has protected UNSC Res. 2231 and JCPOA,” Zarif wrote in a Twitter post.
“Today’s normalization of Iran’s defense cooperation with the world is a win for the cause of multilateralism and peace and security in our region,” he said.
A momentous day for the international community, which— in defiance of malign US efforts—has protected UNSC Res. 2231 and JCPOA.
Today's normalization of Iran’s defense cooperation with the world is a win for the cause of multilateralism and peace and security in our region. pic.twitter.com/sRO6ezu4OO
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) October 17, 2020
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of course was quick to assert this is not the reality, telling Newsweek the US stands ready to act with swift retribution against any country poised to transfer arms to Iran:
“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, as well as those who provide technical training, financial support and services, and other assistance related to these arms,” he said.
In the past months both Russia and China have strongly hinted that they’ll be among the first to do weapons deals with Iran.
Given the poor state of relations between the US and both these countries, which can be argued has reached a low point in recent history with both, there appears little leverage that Washington has at this point to prevent such transfers from these two major powers eager to show their cooperative defiance.