This was an unexpected sight at the conference that also featured American companies and fighter jets.
In the corner of the carpeted convention centre, commanders representing Iran's defense ministry displayed their air defense weapon systems and missiles. The defense ministry produces arms for Iran's powerful paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard and its military, which play a unique role in the development and execution of Iran’s foreign policy.
DIMDEX is an exhibition that promotes Qatar, a non-NATO ally and major non-NATO ally to the United States. Qatar also has the largest American military base anywhere in the Middle East. However, the tiny Gulf Arab nation maintains good relations to Iran, which shares the largest natural gas field in the world.
Representatives from Iran declined to speak with The Associated Press. An Associated Press journalist was presented with brochures promoting their hovercraft, helicopters, and jet trainers.
Maj. Gen. Salem al-Nabet was the chief of staff of Qatar's Armed Forces. He toured Iran's pavilion just before the exhibition closed. He inspected displays of lethal merchandise stored in glass cases and listened to a pitch about machine guns. Just beside the Iranian stand could be seen a huge American flag, representing General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, a U.S. military contractor.
It is notable that Iran's pavilion was not included on the conference map. Due to suspected illegal weapon trade, the United States continues to impose severe sanctions on Iran's defense ministry as well as its armed forces logistics.
For its part, the Revolutionary Guard is widely considered a toxic business partner due to its international reputation for meddling with regional conflicts, sanctions for its ballistic missile programs, and alleged human rights violations.
Four years after Trump's abandonment of it, talks are advancing to restore Tehran's nuclear agreement with world powers. The possibility of the Guard being removed from terrorism has been criticized by America's Mideast allies like Israel.
The U.S. The U.S. has refused to meet the Iranian demand and is refusing to make any commitments by Tehran to end funding or arming extremist groups throughout the region and beyond. Vienna is yet to host nuclear negotiators.