Diplomacy

Iran Demands End to Arms and Missile Embargo as Part of Nuclear Deal

Iran is demanding that the United Nations Security Council lift its embargo on the country’s arms industry in the context of the emerging nuclear deal with the P5+1 nations, The Los Angeles Times reported today.

“The treatment of Iran by the [United Nations] Security Council has been terrible, to put it mildly,” said the official, who declined to be identified because he was speaking about sensitive diplomacy. If Iran’s long dispute with world powers is to be resolved, he said, “there should be a shift.” …

Under a preliminary agreement reached April 2 in Lausanne, Switzerland, U.N. nuclear sanctions on Iran would be lifted as part of a deal after it takes specified steps to curtail sensitive aspects of its nuclear program.

But the so-called framework agreement says that restrictions on missiles and conventional arms would remain in place under a new U.N. Security Council resolution that would establish the nuclear deal.

According to the Times, Russia and China both support lifting the arms embargo and removing the sanctions imposed on Iran’s illicit nuclear program simultaneously. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1747 prohibited member states from buying or selling arms to Iran. Resolution 1929, adopted in 2010, added more items to the embargo.

Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah and Israel, prohibited arms transfers to any entity in Lebanon except for the Lebanese government. The resolution has been regularly violated by Tehran, which routinely arms Hezbollah without facing repercussions. Hezbollah is reported to be building a significant military infrastructure on Israel’s border with significant aid from Iran.

Iran has also been a major supporter of the Syrian government in its bloody civil war, which has claimed the lives of over 200,000 people.

Last year, a United Nations report identified Iran as a major supplier of arms to terrorist groups in the Middle East. An annual report released by the State Department noted that Iran remained a state sponsor of terrorism and called it a “proliferation concern.”

The latest demand from Iran comes just days after Western diplomats blamed the “red lines” recently issued by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for preventing a breakthrough in the nuclear talks. Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States was prepared “to walk away” in the face of Iranian intransigence.

[Photo: AFP news agency / YouTube ]