News / Middle East

US, Allies Slam Iran Over Military Aid to Syria

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice at U.N. (Aug. 2012 photo)U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice at U.N. (Aug. 2012 photo)
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U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice at U.N. (Aug. 2012 photo)
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice at U.N. (Aug. 2012 photo)
Margaret Besheer
The United States, Britain and France said Thursday that Iran’s supply of weapons to the Assad regime in Syria is unacceptable and must stop.  U.N. ambassadors for the three powers also criticized the Islamic Republic for failing to stop enriching uranium and not seriously engaging with them and others in talks on its suspect nuclear program.

At a meeting on the implementation of sanctions against Iran in the U.N. Security Council, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice urged the sanctions committee to focus its efforts on what she called Iran’s “long-standing and well-documented” smuggling of weapons to extremist groups worldwide.

“U.N. sanctions prevent Iran from exporting all arms and related material to any country. Iran’s exports to the murderous Assad regime in Syria are of particular concern. As the panel of experts has concluded, Syria is now the “central party to illicit Iranian arms transfers,” she said.

She urged regional states to intensify their efforts to “deny, inspect and seize” illegal Iranian shipments, in line with U.N. resolutions.

A commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said this week that the force was providing non-military assistance in Syria and Lebanon. Iran's Foreign Ministry denied the remarks a day later.

The Reuters news agency reported that Iran has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and weapons across Iraqi airspace to Syria.

French Ambassador Gérard Araud said Thursday that Iran has violated a U.N.-imposed arms embargo in a bid to help the Syrian authorities.

“While the Damascus regime has been massacring its own people for more than a year now, it is increasingly urgent to strictly apply sanctions and in doing so, stop Iran from providing the Assad regime weapons which allow it to kill its own people,” Gerard said.

Britain’s Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the supply of weaponry is “unacceptable and must stop.”

The three powers also criticized Iran for its continued failure to implement existing council resolutions to stop enriching uranium and answer questions about its suspect nuclear program. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are for peaceful purposes.

The ambassadors said their governments are committed to a negotiated and peaceful resolution of the issue, but that Iran must seriously engage, otherwise talks cannot continue indefinitely.

Next Thursday, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly annual debate, the five permanent members of the Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - plus Germany, will meet at the political directors level to discuss how to move forward on the Iranian nuclear issue.

Their meeting follows an August 30 report from the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA that found Tehran has not cooperated with the Agency in resolving outstanding issues surrounding the nature of its nuclear program.

Iran’s international isolation is increasing, following a vote last week by the IAEA board of governors, which included support from Russia and China, censuring Tehran for its failure to comply with international demands.

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by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 21, 2012 12:45 PM
Iran is an outlaw regime. Iran will do everything to remain that way either knowingly or otherwise. And why not, Iran has no value for human life. That is why it is sponsoring terrorism everywhere, so what with sending weapons to Syria to kill more people than Ahmadinejad would have been able to kill using individual terrorists. On the issue of defying the big five over its nuclear ambition, Iran sees no one to fear out there any more. Britain is suffering down time, France is going aborrowing, USA has a weak president, China and Russia - the only two afloat - are on Iran's side. Someone please think of an alternative way forward. At the present and given the present dispensation of things, especially in the USA, Iran has no threat whatsoever, especially with Obama making sure that Israel doesn't go forward with its plan to strike Iran's nuclear facilities. This is Ahmadinejad's gambit.

by: LeRoy Padmore from: Jersey City,NJ
September 21, 2012 5:15 AM
Time is running out and what are we going to do?Ahamdinijad is a stubborn and a hard headed man.He need to understand that America her allied are not playing.we need to sent a message to Tehran.Tehran will not stop until she accomplish her goal.is there any man in the world to stop this non sense that the world is seeing?it is time that the UN and the rest of the world do something,it is at hand.they need to meet and discuss this issue,enough is enough.
In Response

by: Jake from: Ohio
September 25, 2012 7:12 PM
where is the outrage towards USA and its allies for supplying terrorists in Syria with weapons and destroying the country, just like how they "liberated" Libya. Your all a bunch of fools.

by: Beancube2010 from: Seattle WA
September 21, 2012 3:57 AM
Iranians have no option but to build defense. Even if they don't have nuclear weapons, Israel will try their best to drive us, the US, to attack Iran. Perhaps we may understand this much easier if we can imagine reverse their roles like we are backing Iran and pushing pressures on Israel uncompromisingly for over decades already. Too bad, our foreign policies are hijacked by .. you know who .. and we are now lesser cool to all those including Iranians, Israelis and Palestinians. Why should we be hijacked? After Britain failed their Middle East monopoly, they helped Israelis, instead of Palestinians and Iranians, bribed our political parties so they can keep some of their assets staying afloat.

by: Hasan Hussein from: Cincinnati
September 20, 2012 11:55 PM
Iran has the Right, granted by treaty, to enrich uranium.
"Massacre"? What about the foreign fighters that invade neighborhoods and murder its residents? Where did they get their weapons?
And how can you "massacre" a people "for a than year, now" and not run out of victims?
Iran "smuggling weapons"? To who? This is never explained.
And what are "illegal shipments"?

by: JCDavis from: USA
September 20, 2012 10:50 PM
A "U.N.-imposed arms embargo?" What is the number of the UN resolution imposing this supposed embargo?

by: Anonymous
September 20, 2012 6:46 PM
oh the humanitttttt... awwww shucks.... the hypocracy.... Pretty sure they won't publish this comment. LOL

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