News / Middle East

    Western Diplomats: Iran Again Violates Arms Embargo

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, gestures towards a model of Iran's new domestically-built light booster rocket, named Simorgh, in Tehran, February 3, 2010
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, gestures towards a model of Iran's new domestically-built light booster rocket, named Simorgh, in Tehran, February 3, 2010
    Margaret Besheer

    Western diplomats on the U.N. Security Council  expressed concern Tuesday at mounting reports of Iranian violations of a U.N.-imposed arms embargo, including the seizure of rockets intended for the Taliban in Afghanistan and 50 tons of weapons Israel confiscated en route to Egypt.  

    Britain’s Ambassador to the United Nations Mark Lyall Grant said Iran’s behavior is part of a pattern of deliberate circumvention of sanctions.  He pointed to the seizure last month of 50 rockets in southwestern Afghanistan, saying they were intended to kill Afghan and coalition soldiers.

    "Earlier this month, NATO confirmed that weapons seized in a recent operation by Afghan and ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] forces in Nimruz in Afghanistan were supplied by elements within the Iranian regime and were destined for the Taliban," said Lyall Grant. "The detailed technical analysis, together with the circumstances of the seizure, leave us in no doubt that the weaponry recovered came from Iran, despite the fact that they were crudely doctored to make it look as though they originated in a country represented on this council."

    The British diplomat said Tehran’s provision of such weapons is at odds with its claim that it supports stability and security in Afghanistan.

    Security Council members from the United States, France and Britain also expressed concerns about the cache of weapons Israel’s military seized last week on its way from Syria to Egypt.  Israeli officials say the cargo was intended to be smuggled overland to Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

    German Ambassador Peter Wittig said the large number of violations is cause for concern.

    "Many of these cases involve the extensive delivery of weapons from Iran to unstable regions in West Africa and the Middle East," said Wittig.

    Late last year, the Council heard reports of Iranian weapons shipments being seized by Italy and Nigeria that reportedly were destined for militants in Gaza and separatist rebels in Senegal.

    The U.N. Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran for its suspected nuclear program.  Among those measures are prohibitions on Iranian arms exports and imports.  Iran has repeatedly denied it is seeking to build an atomic bomb.

    Western diplomats note that a recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has refused to discuss possible military dimensions to its nuclear program and has failed to suspend work on heavy water-related projects and uranium enrichment, in violation of Security Council demands.  

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora