US ambassadors call for Iran to restore arms

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates US weapons that end with Iran "must be prevented from becoming a weapon of choice for rogue rulers and terrorist organizations around the world"    Brian Hook told the Associated Press that if the weapons expire in October, the world should ignore the Iranian threats, known as the "mafia strategy". Among its options, the Islamic Republic may expel international inspectors overseeing Iran's nuclear program, which has intensified the crisis that President Donald Trump has unilaterally deviated from Tehran's 2015 nuclear powers.


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates US weapons that end with Iran "must be prevented from becoming a weapon of choice for rogue rulers and terrorist organizations around the world"


Brian Hook told the Associated Press that if the weapons expire in October, the world should ignore the Iranian threats, known as the "mafia strategy". Among its options, the Islamic Republic may expel international inspectors overseeing Iran's nuclear program, which has intensified the crisis that President Donald Trump has unilaterally deviated from Tehran's 2015 nuclear powers.

US arms procurement so far has prevented Iran from buying warplanes, tanks, warships, and other weapons, but has failed to prevent the smuggling of weapons into war zones. However, Hook argued that Tehran must have both import and export restrictions to secure the wider Middle East.

"If we expire, you can be certain of what Iran will do in the dark. It will do something in the daytime and later," Hook said.

The United Nations did not immediately respond to Hook's comments seeking comment on the Iran mission.

Hook made the remarks during his tour of the Middle East, Abu Dhabi, the Arab Emirates capital of the United States. The hook is scheduled to hold a meeting with other officials on Sunday after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Saturday. Hook declined to say where else on his journey.

As Abu Dhabi's borders on the coronavirus epidemic were closed to six more shakes in the UAE, Hook spoke with videoconferencing to Dubai's AP journalists.

The United Nations banned Iran from purchasing major foreign weapons systems in 2010 amid tensions over its nuclear program. This prevented Iran from replacing its old equipment, most of which was purchased by the Shah prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Previous incarnations have targeted Iranian arms exports.

The US Defense Intelligence Agency estimates in 2019 that Iran will seek to buy Russia Su-30 fighter jets, Yak-130 trainers and T-90 tanks if the embargo is eliminated. The DIA said Tehran could try to buy Russia's S-400 anti-aircraft missile system and its Bastian Coastal Defense missile system.

Iran has long been exiled by backed Gulf countries such as the UAE, which have bought billions of dollars of advanced weapons. In response, Tehran has tended to develop ballistic missiles. Analysts, who declined to discuss the blast in Iran on Friday, hide the underground tunnel system and missile production sites.

Being able to pay for new, foreign weapons systems is questionable. US sanctions have crushed Iranian oil sales, a major source of income since the nuclear deal broke out. Energy prices have also fallen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

When asked how Iran would pay for new weapons, Hook said Tehran's low income represented "a good thing for the region" and that it had affected its regional backstage capability, such as Syria.

"We've messed up this regime by its strategy," Hook said. "They have to choose between a gun in Damascus or a butter in Tehran."

That economic pressure has led to fierce anti-government protests in Iran, including nationwide demonstrations in November that killed more than 300 people, Amnesty International said. While the Trump administration has confirmed that it will not try to overthrow the Iranian government, its pressure campaign has sparked public outrage over its Shia theocracy.

Since Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal, Iran has violated all production limits of the deal. The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, which oversees Iran's nuclear activities as part of the deal, said Tehran's low enriched uranium reserves continue to grow.


Analysts feel that if Iran chooses to pursue nuclear weapons, it will need enough material, rather than a year-on-year level of increased reserves and increased production. Iran has long denounced the demand for nuclear bombs, although the IAEA has previously said that in late 2003, Iran had "acted in support of a potential military aspect of the nuclear program."

Iran recruits IAEA inspectors and the U.S. In the midst of a pressure campaign, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty threatened to be withdrawn. North Korea, which now has nuclear weapons, is the only country that has pulled out of the deal.

"If we play by the rules of Iran, then Iran wins," Hook said. "It's a mafia tactic where people get scared by accepting a certain kind of behavior for fear of something."

Although Tehran does not prevent the smuggling of weapons, Hook also said that US sanctions on Iran's exports of weapons were also needed. Iran's weapons have changed, especially in Yemen, where the Tehran-backed Houthi rebels have fought a Saudi-led coalition.

"I don't think anyone would believe that Iran's behavior reduces restrictions on the ability to move weapons," Hook said.

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