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Iran: Arms Trade

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3655, tabled on 28 April 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the forthcoming expiration of the UN-imposed arms embargo on Iran in October 2020 on stability in the Middle East and the security of UK allies.

Answered on

11 May 2020

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) is a reciprocal deal: it lifts sanctions in exchange for tough nuclear limits. Iran has broken the nuclear limits in the JCPoA and we are working to bring Iran back into compliance through the deal's Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

UNSCR 2231, which underpins the JCPoA, includes a number of clauses designed to allow sanctions to expire on fixed dates: the UN conventional arms embargo is due to expire in October 2020. We have repeatedly set out concerns about Iranian destabilising behaviour, including proliferation to non-state actors. UNSCRs 1540, 2216 and 1701, which prohibit the proliferation of weapons to the Houthis and Lebanese Hizballah, will remain in place after the arms embargo expires. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions will also remain in place until 2023. We are consulting partners on the broader implications of arms embargo expiry and encourage all states to implement national export control best practice.