Summary

First introduced in 2015, the UN arms embargo on Iran has recently expired, meaning that the Islamic Republic is now able to buy and sell military hardware and technologies. While there is concern that this will allow Iran to modernize its armed forces and export its weaponry to anti-US actors in exchange of much-needed cash, a combination of political and economic factors makes it difficult for Iran to access the global defense market as either a customer or as a supplier. Nevertheless, some powers may now engage in arms trade with Iran, with potential impacts for diplomatic relations in the Middle East for years to come.