The expiration of the United Nations’ embargo against Iran’s access to missile and drone markets on Wednesday presents a major advantage for their ally, Hamas, over Israel unless halted by the U.S. and European allies.
Richard Goldberg, Trump administration director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction of the National Security Council and current senior advisor for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), has characterized such inaction from the Biden administration as “appeasement” and urged that “snapback sanctions” be imposed in order to prevent it from expiring.
These sanctions were originally established in 2015 through Resolution 2231 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action passed by the UN Security Council to limit Iranian nuclear efforts.
“Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day,” the resolution said with the eight-year expiration date designated as “Transition Day,” on Wednesday.
The United States has been a participant in UN Resolution 2231 since 2015, which allows for the continuation of sanctions on Iran. Despite Hamas’ attacks killing 1,400 people in Israel, including Americans, the Biden administration has yet to extend these sanctions.
Recently, State Department spokesman Vedant Patel was asked if the Biden administration had plans to maintain the Iranian embargo; Patel responded by citing not only UN Resolution 2231, but also other U.S.-imposed export control measures and bilateral and multilateral engagements.
“We have already targeted the same networks and individuals that would have been covered under a [Resolution 2231] violation and we’ll continue to use our own sanctions authorities to hold the Iranian regime accountable.”
When questioned about the possibility of allowing sanctions against Iran to expire, Patel refrained from making a commitment.
He reiterated that the administration is actively monitoring the situation and holding Iran accountable for its actions. Goldberg interpreted this lack of action as tacit approval.
“President Trump recently gave an impassioned speech expressing his sorrow at the horrific massacre of Jews, which was the worst since the Holocaust, and made it clear he stands with Hamas,” Goldberg said. “But shortly after, he presented a gift to Iran, who sponsors Hamas.”
“My heart breaks to see the president lift this embargo.”
Iran expert Behnam Ben Taleblu, also of FDD, said: “Washington’s silence on the lapse of U.N. missile prohibitions on Iranian missile testing and transfers is deafening.”
“Iran’s missile proliferation radius keeps expanding, and with the lapse of U.N. restrictions this October, that will almost certainly grow to include Russia,” he said, Fox News reported.
The issue is far-reaching, with 22 to 50 countries comprising a market for Iranian drones. Notably, Russia is included in this number, and it is likely that Iran will take advantage of the suspension of sanctions as an opportunity to supply drones for the Russian military’s operations in Ukraine.