With Iranian arms embargo set to expire, will Tehran be able to purchase weapons abroad?

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Despite ongoing fears of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and aggression in the Middle East, the U.N. arms embargo on Tehran is scheduled to expire on Oct. 18, which would allow the Islamic Republic to purchase missiles and other armaments from other countries.

“Thanks to the nation’s resistance and our diplomats’ efforts, and despite America’s push in the past four years, this unjust embargo is to be lifted,” said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday. “As of Sunday, we can purchase or sell arms from and to anyone we desire.”

The expiration comes after the United States enacted U.N. snapback sanctions on the regime in August, a move that included extending the arms embargo indefinitely.

It remains unclear, however, if the arms embargo is technically and legally lifted, or if Iran can now be able to purchase advanced weapons.

Richard Goldberg, the former director for countering Iran’s weapons of mass destruction at the White House National Security Council, told JNS that “U.S. policy officially recognizes that a snapback of U.N. sanctions took place and, as such, the arms embargo will not expire on October 18th.”

Goldberg, now a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, cited U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order in September that allows the United States to sanction anyone who sells arms to Iran in violation of the arms embargo.

Read More: JNS