00:40 GMT06 July 2020
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    The announcement comes following a statement by a senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader last week that Tehran was done negotiating with US President Donald Trump and would defend itself should Washington make “any military move” against the Islamic Republic in the Persian Gulf.

    Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) will soon receive “surprise systems” to expand its capabilities and is not in any way affected by the US effort to extend the Iran arms embargo through the United Nations, Commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami has announced.

    “The ground forces have put technological surprise on the agenda and we will see the arrival of surprise systems in the near future”, Salami said, speaking to reporters on Saturday.

    Commenting on the decade-old global arms embargo against Iran, which is set to expire in October, the commander suggested that the restrictions actually provided “an opportunity for our scientists to fulfil defence needs using our domestic capability”.

    “Today, we are not dependent on foreigners for any of the weapons systems... We have reached the stage of self-sufficiency and independence”, Salami explained, pointing to Iranian-made arms’ growing destructive power, accuracy, miniaturisation, and the growing use of unmanned platforms.

    Despite the arms embargo and spending substantially less than the US and its regional adversaries on defence ($13 billion in 2018, vs. $649 billion, $67.6 billion and $15.9 billion during the same period for the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, respectively), Iran has managed to create a host of advanced conventional weapons systems, including missiles, drones, and sophisticated air defence systems. Last June, the domestically-developed Khordad-3 air defence system shot down a cutting-edge $220 million US drone which flew into Iranian airspace in the Strait of Hormuz, causing an international scandal.

    Last week, the Trump administration pushed forward with a draft resolution to try to extend the United Nations arms embargo against Iran, accusing Tehran of supplying weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen and of engaging in a range of other illegal activities throughout the Middle East. Iran rejected the claims, while permanent Security Council members Russia and China indicated that based on Iran’s commitments not to pursue nuclear weapons, the US has no grounds to demand an extension of the arms embargo.


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