TEHRAN: Iran has hit back at a US threat of sanctions on anyone looking to make deals with Iran after the arms embargo on its military expired, saying Washington’s threats show the futility of US action and rhetoric on sanctions.
After a long-standing conventional arms embargo on Iran ended on Sunday despite Washington’s opposition, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of consequences for any individuals or entities that conduct arms deals with Iran.
“Pompeo’s remarks are the most important sign that not even he believes unilateral US sanctions have been successful, and no UN sanctions have been reinstated,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday.
“Iran continues to believe it can operate within the framework of international agreements. What they fear is Iran’s return to the massive market of technology and arms exports,” Khatibzadeh said, adding that Iran produces 90 per cent of its defence needs locally and will mostly look to export arms rather than import them.
In an interview with state television on Sunday night, Iran’s Defence Minister Amir Hatami said Iran would only sell weapons to countries that it is sure “won’t misuse them” and will employ them strictly for defence purposes.
“Unlike the Americans, we wouldn’t do just about everything for money,” he said, pointing out that the US sells billions of dollars of arms to Arab nations in the Middle East that fuel wars.
Iran’s foreign ministry said “unconventional arms, weapons of mass destruction and a buying spree of conventional arms have no place” in the country’s defence doctrine.