At 0:00 on October 18, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs published on its official website the “Statement on the UN Security Council’s Termination of Regulations on Arms Restrictions and Travel Bans.” The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the five-year arms embargo imposed by the United Nations on Iran was automatically lifted on the same day.
The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a statement that “the international community has ignored the efforts of the US regime and protected UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA). As of today, it has targeted Iran’s arms transportation, other related activities and financial services The restrictions imposed on the country, as well as the previous ban on certain Iranian citizens and military officers from entering or transiting through UN member states, have all been automatically lifted.”
The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also stated that the “Joint Comprehensive Action Plan” innovatively proposed that the complete and unconditional termination of arms restrictions and travel bans does not require new resolutions, nor does the Security Council require any statement or other measures. The lifting of arms restrictions and travel bans is automatic and no other measures are required.
In July 2015, Iran reached a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue with the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany. According to the agreement, Iran promised to limit its nuclear program and the international community lifted sanctions against Iran.
Subsequently, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2231 to approve the Iran nuclear agreement. According to Resolution No. 2231, the arms embargo on Iran will end on October 18, 2020.
However, the U.S. government, which unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement, subsequently issued orders at the United Nations to extend the arms embargo on Iran indefinitely unless the Security Council makes a new resolution to lift the embargo.
On September 13, 15 members of the UN Security Council began voting. The results announced a day later showed that in addition to the two votes of the United States and Dominica, 11 member states including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other US allies abstained. The US proposal requires at least 9 votes to pass.
In this regard, the US government still “does not give up” and continues to seek sanctions. On September 19, U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo issued a statement stating that the U.S. has restarted UN sanctions against Iran and encouraged other UN member states to fulfill their sanctions obligations.
Pompeo stated in the statement that in accordance with the “snapback” mechanism of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the United States has reimposed sanctions on Iran. The statement stated that in addition to the arms embargo, the sanctions include “prohibiting Iran from engaging in activities related to uranium enrichment and reprocessing, prohibiting Iran from testing and developing ballistic missiles, and prohibiting the transfer of nuclear weapons and missile-related technologies to Iran” and other restrictions.
Two days later, the US government announced a new round of sanctions on entities and individuals related to Iran’s nuclear, missile, and conventional weapons programs.
US President Trump issued an executive order that day announcing sanctions and export controls on 27 entities and individuals supporting Iran’s nuclear, missile and conventional weapons projects. The executive order stated that those who carry out conventional arms trade with Iran or provide technical training and financial support for related weapons will have their property in the United States seized.
On October 8, the US government again announced sanctions on 18 Iranian banks. According to relevant U.S. regulations, the assets of sanctioned targets in the U.S. will be frozen and U.S. citizens will not be allowed to trade with them. The statement also said that foreign companies that have business dealings with these 18 banks will be given 45 days to end their cooperative relations, otherwise they will face “secondary sanctions.” In this regard, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif strongly condemned the United States.