Iran says will sell more arms than buy after embargo lifted

Iranians visiting a weaponry and military equipment exhibition in the capital Tehran, organised on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution on February 2, 2019. (File/AFP)
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Updated 19 October 2020

Iran says will sell more arms than buy after embargo lifted

  • Tehran said the ban imposed more than a decade ago was lifted “automatically” as of Sunday
  • The lifting of the embargo allows Iran to buy and sell military equipment including tanks, armored vehicles, combat aircraft, helicopters and heavy artillery

TEHRAN: Iran on Monday said it is more inclined to sell weapons rather than buy them, after it announced the end of a longstanding UN conventional arms embargo.
Tehran said the ban imposed more than a decade ago was lifted “automatically” as of Sunday, based on the terms of a 2015 landmark nuclear deal with world powers, from which the Islamic republic’s arch-enemy the United States has withdrawn.
“Before being a buyer in the arms market, Iran has the ability to supply” other countries, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters.
The lifting of the embargo allows Iran to buy and sell military equipment including tanks, armored vehicles, combat aircraft, helicopters and heavy artillery.
According to Khatibzadeh, Iran will “act responsibly” and sell weapons to other countries “based on its own calculations.”
The embargo on the sale of arms to Iran was due to start expiring progressively from October 18, under the terms of the UN resolution that enshrined the 2015 nuclear deal.
However, Washington has argued that arms sales to Iran would still violate UN resolutions, and has threatened sanctions on anyone involved is such deals.
President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the nuclear deal and unilaterally begun reimposing economic sanctions on Iran in 2018.
Iran’s defense minister Amir Hatami told state television on Sunday that his country relies primarily on its own military capabilities.
He said that the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s taught Tehran the “importance of self-reliance,” and led it to “produce 90 percent of our defense needs locally.”
Hatami added that “a number of countries” have contacted Iran on potential arms trade.
But he emphasised that “our sales will be much more expansive (than purchases).”


Egyptian festival celebrates Aragouz traditions

Updated 25 November 2020

Egyptian festival celebrates Aragouz traditions

  • The festival this year sheds light on the creative icons that inspired the aragouz

CAIRO: The second Egyptian Aragouz Festival has opened on Nov. 24, at the ancient Bayt Al-Sinnari, in Cairo. The aragouz is a traditional puppet figure dressed in red invented by Egyptians to ridicule situations comically.

Khaled Bahgat, a professor of theater at Helwan University and the founder of the festival and the Wamda Troupe for Aragouz and Shadow Puppets, said the festival is part of the initiative to preserve the Egyptian aragouz, after it was recognized by UNESCO in 2018 as one of the most important Egyptian artistic elements. He said that he wants the Egyptian art of aragouz to reach the world because it is an ancient Egyptian art.

The festival this year sheds light on the creative icons that inspired the aragouz.

The festival opened with a tribute to the great Egyptian creator Abu Al-Saud Al-Abyari in a reading of his story “Aragouz, Author and Idea,” which he published in 1953. Al-Aragouz was an important source of creativity for Al-Abyari.

The reading was followed by entries exploring how the art of aragouz shaped Egyptian comedy in the twentieth century.

The day closed with puppet performances of “The social media aragouz,” which reflected the impact of social media, directed by Ali Abu Zeid, and “The aragouz in the city,” directed by Nabil Bahgat.

On the second day, Reem Heggab will honor her father the late Egyptian poet Said Heggab, reciting one of his poems on the aragouz. This will be followed by two aragouz shows, “The Take Away,” directed by Mahmoud Sayed Hanafi, and “Aragouz, the Land of Myths.”

On Thursday, the theater department of the University of Alexandria will celebrate the aragouz with a lecture by Hany Abou El-Hassan, the head of the department, a workshop and a performance titled “Lorca and the aragouz,” directed by Nabil Bahgat and presented by the Wamda Troupe.

The performance honors the creativity of the Spanish poet and innovator Federico García Lorca, and will be held in the presence of the Spanish cultural attache.

The fourth day of the festival will honor the poet Fouad Haddad, whose son Amin Haddad will recite several poems from his father’s book of poetry entitiled Al-Aragouz. The poetry reading will be followed by a discussion.

Then there will be performances of “Aragouz Al Sima,” directed by Mustafa Al-Sabbagh, and “Al-Aragouz in Danger,” which deals with the greatest challenges facing the art of aragouz.

On the last day, the Faculty of Arts at Helwan University and the Department of Theater Sciences’ troupe will hold an open seminar with the department’s students to discuss ways to preserve the Egyptian aragouz.