Why does the US say it will use its veto power in the United Nations Security Council to block Iran from buying Sukhoi Su-30 fighters although it wasn't mentioned in Iran's nuclear deal?

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    @user4012 Anyone can read officially stated reasons on the news. What is the real reason, could you elaborate on that? Thanks. Apr 6, 2016 at 5:30
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    @SamIam well I presume because the most real thread that Iran could make was nuclear bombs (right?) therefore, after the nuclear deals the US wouldn't worry about other things that Iran is doing and wouldn't make a bog deal out of it. (Well that was my personal idea.) Is Iran still a thread to international peace (Seriously?!) and especially the US. Apr 6, 2016 at 5:35
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    good question @adel rahimi +1; hope to receive good answers
    – user 1
    Apr 6, 2016 at 10:52
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    Why did the US use its veto power Technically US didn't use veto but it's going to use it.
    – Matt
    Apr 6, 2016 at 11:45
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    Exercising power over oil producing nations.
    – Phil Lello
    Apr 7, 2016 at 12:47

2 Answers 2


The simplest answer is balance of power considerations. As a modern fighter, the Su-30 would dramatically increase Iranian military capabilities vis-a-vis other states in the region, especially U.S. allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel. The U.S. has a national interest in preventing the emergence of a regional hegemon in the Middle East, or even in a single state like Iran, from being able to militarily dominate other states in the region.

While Iran is particularly susceptible to targeting by the U.S. for capability denial—because Iran has positioned itself as a geo-strategic competitor to the U.S., and the U.S. considers Iran one of the leading state sponsors of terrorism—Iran is not alone in figuring into U.S. balance of power calculations. As the U.S. is the main supplier of weapons to states other than Iran in the Middle East, the U.S.' action usually takes the form of refusing sales, but the U.S. tries to maintain a military balance in the region. The U.S. made calculations about Saudi Arabia's power vis-a-vis Israel before selling Saudi Arabia a weapons package. The U.S. has held up a Qatari weapons deal, in part out of concern that it will upset the balance of power. Even Israel did not receive a delivery of Bunker busters until after the Iranian deal was signed.

The signing of the nuclear deal is immaterial to the sale of advanced fighters. The nuclear deal is an attempt to stabilize the regional nuclear balance of power, but it says nothing about the regional conventional balance of power. While conventional war is—hopefully—less likely because of the nuclear deal, it remains a potential outcome, and U.S. leaders continue to plan for that contingency. If there is a diplomatic tool which will make a conventional war easier to win, the U.S.—and probably any government—is likely to exercise that tool, even if they are hope that a conventional war does not occur.

  • Calling the outdated Su-30 a threat to Israel with it F35 is a bit strange.
    – convert
    Aug 20, 2022 at 14:38
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    @convert F-35 is not the only combat aircraft Israel operates, and Su-30 is not quite as outdated as, say, F-16C, which comprises the majority of IAF combat jets. Also, the answer was written before Israel actually got any F-35s. Feb 22, 2023 at 4:18

It is because of Zarif :)
Because "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" has set-out such that any time Us and EU can do anything against Iran with a single Excuse: Iran didnt show "good behavior". what is "good behavior"? US+EU can find something to tell every time.

  • Don't think Iran will sit there idly by. if they cross the red lines it's a matter of months for Iran to go full-phase in nuclear enrichment program once again.
    – user2977
    Apr 6, 2016 at 13:14
  • @Saeed Disagree; It takes at least 2 years for Iran to re-complete Arak (how much money?...). to Enrich 10000 kilos Iran has long way. and... + politically Iran's president has not any will to "go full-phase in nuclear enrichment program once again", because he will lose next election then.
    – user 1
    Apr 6, 2016 at 13:22
  • This answer does not explain the motives of the United States and the EU at all. And no, "because they are evil" is not a motive.
    – Philipp
    Apr 6, 2016 at 19:05
  • @user1 you said that for yourself, there are of course some measures in case they don't honor the deal. it's got nothing to do with next election, if such a decision be made people will support it either because nobody in Iran is a fool to accept whatever the U.S throws at Iran. that time is long gone my friend
    – user2977
    Apr 6, 2016 at 20:15
  • @saeed If president "go full-phase in nuclear enrichment program once again", Iran should expend a lot+ this would show mistake of him trusting western powers and seting-out a bad deal.
    – user 1
    Apr 7, 2016 at 6:03

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