Trump Executive Order Will Enforce Global Arms Embargo Against Iran

UN spurned extension demanded by US, now US tries to unilaterally enforce it

The US did not get the extension of the Iranian arms embargo that they so wanted, and the indications since then have been that the US is going to behave as though the embargo is still in place, and will try to enforce it unilaterally.

Unnamed sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday that President Trump will soon be issuing an executive order aimed at this enforcement of this soon-to-expire embargo. The measure will grant Trump the power to sanction anyone who “violates” this by selling any conventional arms to Iran.

The UN arms embargo has long prevented Iran from importing even basic defensive arms, and has forced them to develop in-house alternatives to almost everything a modern military needs. In forcing Iran to be self-sufficient, the US has accused Iran of aggression every time they develop something new, even if it is something that trivially would’ve been available on the open market.

As part of the P5+1 deal, the arms embargo expires in October. Russia and China in particular opposed US calls for an extension, and all signs point to Iran looking for some deals with Russian defense companies to shore themselves up in some points of weakness.

The Trump Administration seems to be betting that pretending the embargo was extended and threatening sanctions is all they’ll need to do, and indeed this may work with some countries, whose banking systems fear US sanctions. That’s not at all the case in Russia or China, however, and as these are the two bigger non-US arms selling nations, they would probably be the ones Iran would be making deals with.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of