Skip to main content

Iran: Arms Trade

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL6652, tabled on 8 July 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to encourage the United Nations to renew the sanctions on Iran when they are due for review in October.

Answered on

20 July 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.

UNSCR 2231, which underpins the JCPoA, includes a number of clauses designed to allow sanctions to expire on fixed dates: the UN travel ban and the UN conventional arms embargo are due to expire in October 2020. E3 Foreign Ministers made clear on 19 June that the planned expiry of the UN conventional arms embargo would have major implications for regional security and stability. We share concerns about Iranian proliferation, and have repeatedly set out concerns about Iranian destabilising behaviour. We are working closely with remaining JCPoA parties to address these issues, as well as with other members of the UN Security Council.

There are also other sanctions regimes which restrict Iranian ability to proliferate weapons in the region that will remain in place after the arms embargo expire. These include UNSCRs 1540, 1701 and 2216, which prohibit the proliferation of weapons to Lebanese Hizballah and the Houthis. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions on Iran will also remain in place until 2023. There is an independent EU Iran human rights sanctions regime, which places trade restrictions on specified goods and technology which may be used to repress the civilian population of Iran and on specified goods and technology which may be used for interception and monitoring services in Iran. These EU trade restrictions do not have an expiry date.