Members of Iran's Basij militia
Members of Iran's Basij militiaReuters

Iranian Minister of Defense Amir Hatami said on Sunday that the stage is set for Iran to start selling and buying arms now that the UN arms embargo on the Islamic Republic has been lifted.

Speaking during a live TV program and quoted by the Iranian Mehr news agency, Hatami claimed that the Americans had left no stone unturned to ensure that the arms embargo remained in place, but its prestige completely waned in the international arena.

“Today, under UNSCR 2231, all arms embargoes were lifted and from today, we are allowed to procure everything we need from the world and sell to others what others need,” he added.

Asked if the Ministry of Defense has any plans to buy or sell weapons, Hatami replied, “Suitable ways have been paved for buying and selling weapons and we have a plan in this regard. About a year ago, when the United States tried to extend these restrictions, it somehow made many countries aware of our capabilities and turn to us. In this regard, negotiations and talks have taken place and there are grounds for selling and meeting the needs, but of course our sales will be much wider.”

The arms embargo on Iran officially ended on Sunday despite US efforts to keep it in place.

In August, Washington started the process of restoring all pre-2015 UN sanctions against Iran. The move to activate the “snapback” came after the UN Security Council rejected the US resolution to extend the arms embargo on Iran, which is due to expire in October.

However, the president of the UN Security Council rejected the US demand, saying there was no general agreement among council members.

Following the failure to activate the “snapback” mechanism, the Trump administration announced an executive order and new sanctions against Iran aimed at enforcing United Nations sanctions.

The sanctions included an indefinite ban on weapons sales and allows for sanctions on any international companies or individuals that seek to violate the embargo.

On Sunday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz vowed that Israel will not permit Iran to take advantage of the expiration of the arms embargo against Tehran, adding that he will use “whatever measures necessary” to block Iranian expansionism.

“With the expiration of the arms embargo on Iran today, we must be stronger and more determined than ever. Iran has never been an Israeli problem, but, first and foremost, a global and regional problem,” Gantz tweeted.

“As Defense Minister, I will continue to take whatever measures necessary, together with our partners, old and new, to prevent Iranian expansion and armament. All countries should get on board this important effort.”