MOSCOW, (BM) – The UN Security Council rejected a US resolution to extend the arms embargo on Iran, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. According to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA, known as the “nuclear deal”], adopted in 2015, the embargo ends on October 18, 2020: from now on, UN Security Council approval for arms deals is no longer required.
The American resolution on indefinite extension of the embargo was supported only by the Dominican Republic, 11 countries abstained from voting, while Russia and China voted against. In these conditions, we can already openly say that a new large arms sales market will appear in the world starting this fall, which is especially important in the crisis period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At first glance, many countries, including European ones, including Great Britain and France, could offer their weapons to Iran. However, unilateral US sanctions, which US officials are already talking about, will become a hindrance. Since 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, the United States has restored the existing sanctions regime.
At the same time, the United States bans the activities of not only its own companies, but also imposes sanctions against companies that cooperate and invest in Iran, which has already led to the curtailment of plans of European manufacturers of civil aviation and automobiles to enter the Iranian market.
As a result, the only countries that can take advantage of the situation are those already under US sanctions: Russia and China. Given the close interaction between Iran and Russia in Syria and the Middle East in general, Moscow will get the lion’s share of the market.
Moreover, in 2016, Iran already showed interest in the purchase of 60 Russian multifunctional Su-30SM fighters, but the deal was canceled due to the current embargo. Considering the absolute obsolescence of the Iranian military and transport aviation fleet, as well as the lack of its own developments in this area, the available market is huge and limited only by the financial capabilities of Iran.
To date, the Iranian Air Force has more than 300 fighters and attack aircraft represented by such models as F-4D / E, F-5B, F-5E / F, F-7E, F-14, Mirage-1E, Su-24MK etc. About 120 existing transport aircraft also require replacement. The most likely deal after the lifting of the embargo is the purchase of more than 100 multifunctional Su-30SM fighters with the deployment of an assembly line in Iran. Such a deal will cost at least $ 5billion.
It must be said that the market is practically absolutely free in other categories of weapons, even in some of those where Iran produces its counterparts or modernizes existing weapons. For example, most of the Iranian armored vehicles require replacement or modernization.
So, out of more than 1,500 tanks, only 480 are relatively modern T-72S (require modernization), all the rest are hopelessly outdated (T-55, T-62, M-60A1, M-47/48 Chieftain Mk3 / Mk5). Iran independently developed and produces Zulfiqar tanks, but since the mid-1990s, only about 150 vehicles have been delivered to the troops, and there is no need to talk about the imminent large-scale production of the more modern Karrar.
Against this background, Iran’s recurring interest in Russian T-90 tanks is quite capable of growing into a contract. All the same applies to infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, armored vehicles and even trucks.
There is also a lot of space for cooperation in the field of naval forces: for example, Iran is armed with three aging Russian submarines of Project 877EKM “Halibut” and could well become another buyer of more advanced low-noise diesel-electric submarines of Project 636 “Varshavyanka”, noticeably strengthening its position in the Persian Gulf.
As we can see, the Iranian market is truly unlimited, and the volume of purchases in Russia will be limited only by Moscow’s caution and Tehran’s financial capabilities. In some categories of weapons, China can also compete with Russia, but so far most of the Chinese military-industrial complex is not under US sanctions, and Beijing may not dare to go for open supplies, limiting itself to supplying various components through shell companies.
What is Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)?
Iran and the Six of international negotiators reached a historic agreement in July 2015 to resolve the long-standing problem of the Iranian atom. The months-long negotiations culminated in the adoption of a joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA), the implementation of which will completely remove Iran’s previously imposed economic and financial sanctions by the UN Security Council, the United States and the European Union.
The agreement also provided that the arms embargo will be lifted from Iran within 5 years, arms deliveries are possible earlier, but only with the permission of the UN Security Council. The deal in its original form did not survive even three years: in May 2018, the United States announced a unilateral exit from it and the restoration of stringent sanctions against Tehran.
Over the years, the military embargo has developed a successful military-industrial complex in Iran
We cannot ignore the fact that the imposed military embargo on Iran has left its positive imprint on the military industry in the country.
Iran has been forced to develop its military industry to new levels, and many military experts believe they have achieved relatively excellent results.
Tehran produces various cruise missiles for its needs. Only about half a year ago, mass arming of Iranian submarines with Jask-2 cruise missiles began.
In the field of aviation and modern technology, Tehran produces at least two types of drones, the most notable of which is the strategic and attacking drone Fotros.
Last year, the Islamic country introduced to the world its latest anti-aircraft missile system Khordad 15. Its performance is not as impressive as in Western countries or the Russian S-400, but according to unofficial information, one system detects five targets, and the system itself is deployed in combat standby for no more than five minutes.
Not to be overlooked is the fact that Iran has recently sold its anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria.
To some extent, Iran has also developed its military genius with regard to armored vehicles. at this stage does not produce such, but produces better armor for Russian tanks T-72 and T-90. The fact is that it sells such refurbished Russian tanks in Africa.
Last but not least, the Islamic State is trying to focus on the production of fighter jets. Last month, it managed to launch its first training two-seater fighter of the third generation. But in this case – a number of Iranian military experts commented that the fighter in question would be useful only for training new pilots.
Let us not forget the development of Iran in the field of S4ISR. Earlier this year, the available French Mirage 1 aircraft were equipped with radar developed at Tehran’s research laboratories.
Of course, this is not all, but in general, Iran has managed to develop its military industry and meet the needs of its country.
If the military embargo falls, Tehran will spend billions on new weapons, and it will not be surprising if the new technologies do not serve future Iranian developments.
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