October 21, 2021

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Status of UN Arms Embargo on Iran

12 min read

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

On September 19, virtually all UN sanctions on Iran returned, including re-imposition of the UN arms embargo. Accordingly, the export of certain conventional arms to Iran is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1929 and the procurement of any arms or related materiel from Iran is a violation of UNSCR 1747. 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.

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. Providing arms to Iran will only aggravate tensions in the region, put more dangerous weapons into the hands of terrorist groups and proxies, and risk increasing threats to the security of Israel and other peaceful nations. 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.

Any nation that sells weapons to Iran is impoverishing the Iranian people by enabling the regime’s diversion of funds away from the people and toward the regime’s military aims. The regime has a choice: it can pursue the purchase of weapons in violation of UN sanctions measures, or the regime can use its funds to provide for the Iranian people. Today, Iranians are suffering because the regime continues to withhold nearly $1 billion from the Iranian Health Ministry for its COVID-19 response, despite calls from Iranian health officials to provide needed funding. The regime is responsible for the consequences of how it allocates the Iranian people’s resources. Decades of corruption and radical policies by the regime’s leaders are responsible for the decay of a great nation. We stand with the Iranian people against tyranny, the squandering of their resources, and the regime’s efforts to crush their struggle for freedom.

The United States desires peace with Iran and hopes for the day when its leaders share that goal. When the regime’s leaders abandon their dreams of exporting revolution, they will find a welcoming and generous partner in Washington.

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