Iran Nuclear Deal’s Sunset Provisions Begin Expiring in 2020

Expiration of UNSC 2231 Will Enable Iran’s Terror Apparatus

(New York, N.Y.)The rapidly expiring “sunset provisions” – which will lift existing restrictions on Iran’s military, missiles and nuclear programs – were a key factor in President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the flawed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May last year. The first of the sunset provisions, the arms embargo under U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, will expire by October 18, 2020.

In its report, JCPOA Sunset Alert, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) details the hazards once UNSCR 2231’s arms transfers provisions expire. Guns, howitzers, mortars, battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships and missiles or missile systems will proliferate throughout the region.

“The Iran nuclear deal’s broader sunset provisions are one of the most crucial failings of the agreement,” said UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace. “Beginning next year with UNSCR 2231’s arms embargo expiration, Iran’s potential to feed their proxy terror groups by matériel transfers will be further realized. It is crucial that the administration’s current ‘Maximum Pressure’ economic campaign be fully enforced and sustained – cutting off Iran’s ability to spread weapons throughout the region.”

The expiration of this arms embargo will have immediate destabilizing consequences for Yemen, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Israel. Terror organizations like the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, the Al-Ashtar Brigades, Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Houthis are the likely beneficiaries of this sunset provision.

  • In Yemen, Resolution 2231’s expiration could act as a force multiplier for these kinds of Iranian weapons-transfers on the ground, particularly because of Russia’s efforts to shield Iran from any liability under separate U.N. Security Council resolutions on Yemen, like 2216.
  • In Bahrain, Resolution 2231’s expiration would enable Tehran to send foreign-made weapons to Bahrain, thus shielding their Iranian origin.
  • In Lebanon, when Resolution 2231 expires, rather than just smuggling, Iran may openly supply multiple kinds of precision-guided missiles and drones to Hezbollah at unprecedented levels, as the only check on Iranian arms transfers will be Israel’s willingness to strike them.
  • In Syria, Iran will continue to engage in the facilitation of arms transfers to the Assad regime and proxy militia forces in Syria, including Hezbollah, in violation of Resolution 2231.
  • In Iraq, when Resolution 2231’s arms-related transfers expire in 2020, Iran will be able to provide weaponry to these anti-American destabilizing militias without the approval and reporting structure currently in place in the Security Council.
  • In Israel and the Palestinian Territories, the expiration of Resolution 2231’s arms embargo has the potential to prompt further wars with Israel, costing both Israeli and Palestinian lives and destabilizing the region.

To read the UANI report, JCPOA Sunset Alert, please click here.