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Defense Minister Gallant: Iran in talks to sell advanced weapons to 50-plus countries

He calls on world powers to prevent the proliferation of weapons once the U.N. arms embargo on the Islamic Republic expires in October.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference, Feb. 17, 2023. Credit: Ariel Hermoni/Israeli Ministry of Defense.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference, Feb. 17, 2023. Credit: Ariel Hermoni/Israeli Ministry of Defense.

Iran is currently engaged in negotiations to sell dozens of countries advanced weapons ahead of the upcoming expiration of a U.N. arms embargo on the Islamic Republic, Israel’s  Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said on Friday at the annual Munich Security Conference.

“Iran is no longer a ‘local supplier’ serving proxies in the Middle East. It is a ‘multinational corporation,’ a global exporter of advanced weapons,” said Gallant. “From Belarus in Eastern Europe to Venezuela in South America—we have seen Iran delivering UAVs with a range of up to 1,000 kilometers. In fact, Iran is currently holding discussions to sell advanced weapons … to no less than 50 different countries.”

Gallant called on world powers to take concrete steps to prevent the proliferation of Iranian arms once the U.N. arms embargo expires on Oct. 18 in accordance with the terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) from which the United States withdrew in May 2018.

The embargo was established by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which formally codified the nuclear pact. It bans Tehran from exporting ballistic missiles and drones with a range of more than 300 kilometers and a payload of more than 500 kilograms until October 2023.

“Time is running out while an evil regime traffics weapons. The international community must create an effective alternative to the dying embargo, a practical mechanism of deterrence and consequences,” said the defense minister.

Gallant also reiterated Israel’s call to curb Tehran’s nuclear program by keeping “all the possible means—I repeat—all possible means on the table.”

Finally, he noted that as a result of the Trump administration-brokered Abraham Accords, which normalized Israel’s relations with four Arab states, more than 100 regional defense meetings had been held since the fall of 2020, when the accords were signed.

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