Ghasem Ghoreyshi, Deputy commander of Iran's paramilitary Basij

Iran's Boasts of Escalation in Arms Exports

Saturday, 05/18/2024

The deputy commander of Iran's paramilitary Basij, Ghasem Ghoreyshi, boasted about Iran's transformation from an arms importer to an exporter.

"There was a time when sanctions were imposed to prevent us from obtaining weapons, but today we have transformed from an importer to an exporter of arms," Ghoreyshi stated on Saturday.

"One world power asks us to give them this capability in a conflict, while another pleads with us not to."

Since mid-2022, Tehran has supplied Russia with hundreds of Shahed Kamikaze drones. The drones have been used against civilian targets and infrastructure in Ukraine, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.

Despite denials from Iranian officials, evidence from recovered drone parts suggests a direct line of supply from Iran to Russia and there are emerging signs that Tehran might also be supplying long-range missiles to Russia.

The United Nations Security Council's arms embargo on Iran expired in October 2020 amid geopolitical tensions and failed attempts by the United States to extend it.

Last year, the US named Iran the world’s primary state-sponsor of terror as it arms proxies in countries including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Palestine.

In Yemen, the Houthi rebels, supported by Iran, have used an array of Iranian missiles and drones to disrupt international shipping in the Red Sea, prompting military responses from both the US and the UK.

In its first direct assault on Israeli territory, Iran fired more than 350 drones, missiles, and ballistic missiles on April 13. Most of the attack was intercepted by Israeli defenses and a US-led coalition.

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