Iran is dangerous; It’s no secret. In 2010 the United Nations imposed an arms embargo on Iran, and come October, it will expire. And if it does, Iran would become the “arms dealer of choice” for terrorists, said Brian Hook, the United States special representative for Iran. As President Trump has repeatedly expressed, Iran’s threats of retaliation if the embargo is extended should not be taken into consideration.
“If we play by Iran’s rules, Iran wins,” Hook told the Associated Press. “It is a mafia tactic where people are intimidated into accepting a certain kind of behavior for fear of something worse” added Hook. According to Voice Of America News, “The U.N. arms embargo has stopped Iran from openly buying fighter jets, tanks, warships, and other weaponry. But it has not stopped Iran from sneaking weapons into such war zones as Yemen, where Iran backs the Houthi rebels.”
“If we let it expire, you can be certain that what Iran has been doing in the dark, it will do in broad daylight and then some” Hook said of Iran using smuggling tactics, despite denying supplying arms to rebel armies. VOA reports that last year the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency predicted Iran would try to buy Russian fighter jets, tanks, and anti-aircraft missile systems.
However, between the COVID-19 pandemic and President Trump imposing economic sanctions on Iranian oil sales, Iran’s economy likely has not allowed them to make their desired purchases. According to VOA, a reporter asked Hook how Iran would be able to pay for expensive wartime equipment and weaponry, to which he replied it’s “a good thing for the region” that Iranian revenues are way down.
Iran’s loss of oil revenue is also beneficial for making it more difficult for Iran to aid and back allies such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. “We have put this regime through our strategy on the horns of a dilemma,” said Hook. “They have to choose between guns in Damascus or butter in Tehran.”