Thursday, November 12, 2009

Iran violating UN arms embargo

From AP, 11/11/09, by EDITH M. LEDERER:

UNITED NATIONS — The United States accused Iran Tuesday of violating a U.N. arms embargo by secretly sending weapons to Syria in a cargo ship seized by Israel, a U.S. official said.

...U.S. deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff and British deputy ambassador Philip Parham raised Israel's seizure of the cargo vessel Francop on Nov. 4 off Cyprus during a closed-door council debate on implementation of the 2006 cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon that ended their 34-day war, council diplomats said.

... Iranian markings on the side of containers filled with rockets, missiles, mortars, anti-tank weapons and munitions [were] shown to reporters in Israel.

The United States told the council that the concealed arms shipment, "clearly manifested from Iran to Syria" in violation of a March 2007 arms embargo, provides "unambiguous evidence of the destabilizing proliferation of arms in the region..." ....

The United States also called on Syria and Iran to end their "material support" for Hezbollah and other militias in Lebanon, which violates the 2006 cease-fire resolution...

...Britain's Parham told reporters after the council meeting that the Francop appears to be the third case of illegal Iranian arms exports this year.

"We hope that Iran will play a part in achieving a secure, peaceful and prosperous Middle East, but its current behavior appears to point in a different direction," Parham said.
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