“Many countries have already talked to us; we have held negotiations with some countries, and the grounds are totally prepared for exchanges [of weapons], both for selling [arms to other countries] and for supplying certain needs [buying weapons],” Brigadier General Amir Hatami said in a televised interview on Sunday night.
“Of course our sales will be much more extensive [than our purchases],” Hatami added, according to Press TV.
He said Iran will not abandon the policy of self-reliance in its defense industry despite the end of UN arms embargo.
Hatami said such a policy will “unchangeable” even if the country is provided with “all the opportunities in the world”.
The minister also said all nations have the right to defend their territorial integrity, and Iran will be a good and successful actor in this regard as it seeks to maintain peace.
He said Iran’s goal is first to become self-sufficient and powerful in terms of defensive capabilities, and second to support the countries that seek to defend their existence.
In line with a historic 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the UN Security Council’s embargo on trade in conventional weapons with the Islamic Republic ended on Sunday. The nuclear accord had been endorsed by the Security Council in the form of Resolution 2231.
The development came in spite of months-long attempts by the United States to keep the arms embargo in place.
In his Sunday remarks, Hatami said the sanctions imposed by the US against Iran pushed the country to move toward self-sufficiency, so much so that the Islamic Republic can now produce and supply 90 percent of its defense needs inside the country.
“Even our enemies admit that Iran today is a significant missile power in the world. … It is also a renowned world power in the aerial field,” especially in producing drones and missile defense systems, Hatami added.
“Our Khordad-3 defense system managed to target an expensive American stealth drone which had intruded the Iranian airspace.”
He gave an assurance to regional countries that the Islamic Republic wants peace, stability and security for the region and the world. “This is the clear defense policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
“You can’t find any move against this policy in the past four decades …. Wherever we took action, it was meant to create peace, help establish security and stability in the region. We honestly showed it to the entire world in the course of fight against the terrorists trained by the Americans,” Hatami said.
Military treaties with Persian Gulf states
On Monday, Hatami told Qatar's Al Jazeera Arabic broadcaster that Iran is ready to sign military and security treaties with the Persian Gulf countries to maintain the stability in the region.
Hatami warned that the recent normalization of ties with Israel by the United Arab Emirate and Bahrain poses a direct threat to the security of the Persian Gulf region
He said any Israeli threat stemming from the Persian Gulf region will face a clear and direct response from Iran.
The end of the arms embargo, the minister added, is an opportunity for Iran but the country is not interested in launching an arms race that would turn the region into a “powder keg”.