Thursday, February 29, 2024

Iran Officially Announces Termination of UN Arms Embargo

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran has released a statement to announce the termination of the UN Security Council's provisions on arms restrictions against Iran.

What follows is the full text of the statement released early Sunday, October 18, 2020:

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

 Today is a momentous day for the international community, which in defiance of the U.S. regime’s efforts, has protected UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

As of today, all restrictions on the transfer of arms, related activities and financial services to and from the Islamic Republic of Iran[1], and all prohibitions regarding the entry into or transit through territories of the United Nations Member States previously imposed on a number of Iranian citizens and military officials[2], are all automatically terminated.[3]

In one of the JCPOA’s innovations, the definitive and unconditional termination of arms restrictions and travel bans requires no new resolution, nor does it require any statement or any other measure by the Security Council. The lifting of arms restrictions and the travel ban were designed to be automatic with no other action required. This was achieved after painstaking negotiations, and with a prescient anticipation of the possibility of a breach of obligations by one or more of the other parties to the JCPOA. The very same procedure is applied for the termination of missile-related restrictions in the year 2023, and the subsequent conclusion of “consideration of the Iranian nuclear issue” in the Security Council in the year 2025.

Therefore, as of today, the Islamic Republic of Iran may procure any necessary arms and equipment from any source without any legal restrictions and solely based on its defensive needs, and may also export defensive armaments based on its own policies. It should be underlined here that rejecting imposition in any form is the cornerstone of Iran’s foreign policy. Therefore, the imposition of any restriction on any field—including finance, the economy, energy, and armaments—has never been recognized by Iran.

At the same time, Iran’s defense doctrine is premised on strong reliance on its people and indigenous capabilities. Ever since the eight-year imposed war on Iran by Saddam Hussein’s regime—during which the Iranian people were victims of sophisticated and lethal weapons provided to Saddam by the West while Iran was deprived of procuring even the most basic defensive weaponry—the Islamic Republic of Iran has provided for its defensive needs through indigenous capacities and capabilities. This doctrine has been and will continue to be the principal driver behind all measures of the Islamic Republic of Iran in maintaining its strong defensive power. Unconventional arms, weapons of mass destruction and a buying spree of conventional arms have no place in Iran’s defense doctrine. The country’s deterrence stems from native knowledge and capability, as well as our people’s power and resilience. In contemporary history Iran—despite its power disparity—has never started a war.

Regrettably lucrative weapon deals—concluded mainly between Western powers and some regional countries—have contributed greatly to, and aggravated commission of, war crimes in the region, including the ongoing aggression against the Yemeni people.

Notwithstanding the failed attempts by the U.S. to withhold and eliminate Iran’s benefits from Resolution 2231, Member States are required to make their laws and regulations compatible with the resolution, which “invites Member States to give due regard to these changes”. The Islamic Republic of Iran draws the attention of all Member States to the unambiguous provisions of the Resolution 2231 and its relevant timetables.

The United States, whose unlawful and malign subterfuge in its attempts to further violate a UNSC Resolution have been categorically rejected several times in the past three months by the Security Council, must abandon its destructive approach vis-à-vis Resolution 2231; return to full compliance with its commitments under the United Nations Charter; stop violating international law and ignoring international order, and cease further destabilization in the West Asia region.

It is evident that any measure against the provisions of UNSC Resolution 2231—particularly paragraph 1 and its defined timetables—will amount to a material breach of the resolution and the purposes of the JCPOA. In that event, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to take any necessary countermeasures to secure its national interests.


[1] In accordance with paragraphs 5 and 6(b) of Annex B to UNSCR resolution 2231.

[2] In accordance with paragraph 6(e) of Annex B to resolution 2231.

[3] The UN Security Council sanctions on aspects of Iran’s international defense cooperation—illegitimate and unfounded as they were—began with Resolution 1737 in 2006, and were expanded until the adoption of Resolution 1929 in 2010. Of note, Resolutions 1737, 1747 (2007), and 1929 also introduced unjustifiable travel bans on a significant number of Iranian citizens and military officials. Pursuant to the signing of the JCPOA and adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 in 2015, provisions of Resolutions 1696, 1737, 1747, 1803, 1835, 1929 and 2224 were all terminated. In parallel, the Security Council established a case-by-case authorization mechanism for the import and export of defined armaments for five years, and at the same time, the travel ban remained in force on only a limited number of Iranian citizens and military officials. All of these restrictions were terminated today, October 18, 2020.

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