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Iran: Arms Trade

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 49098, tabled on 19 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the level of regional threat posed by Iran re-entering the arms market following the expiration of the UN conventional arms embargo in October 2020.

Answered on

3 June 2020

The UK remains committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), a reciprocal deal that 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.

United Nations Security Council Resolution (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 the UN arms embargo expiry and encourage all states to implement national export control best practice.