Iran General NewsUN committee accuses Iran of violating arms embargo

UN committee accuses Iran of violating arms embargo


ImageReuters: A U.N. committee accused Iran on Tuesday of violating a U.N. ban on importing or exporting arms by trying to ship weapons-related material in a vessel that was seized by authorities in Cyprus.

By Louis Charbonneau

ImageUNITED NATIONS, March 10 (Reuters) – A U.N. committee accused Iran on Tuesday of violating a U.N. ban on importing or exporting arms by trying to ship weapons-related material in a vessel that was seized by authorities in Cyprus.

Some diplomats believe the material may have been bound for Lebanon or Gaza.

Japan's U.N. Ambassador Yukio Takasu, chairman of the Iran sanctions committee, told the U.N. Security Council the shipment of conventional weaponry constituted a "violation" of Security Council resolution 1737, passed in 2006 to put pressure on Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment program.

In a letter to Iran, a draft of which was obtained by Reuters, Takasu said the Cyprus-flagged MV Monchegorsk, chartered by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, was carrying banned items, including bullet shells, high-explosive gun charges, items related to 125 mm armor-piercing guns and high explosive anti-tank propellant.

It said the ship's documents indicated the material was headed for Syria, though council diplomats say its final destination remains unclear.

Several diplomats have said it might have been headed for Lebanon though others suspect it was intended for the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip.

Takasu's letter, sent to Iran on Monday, asked Tehran to provide any additional relevant information within 10 working days. A similar request was sent to Syria.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has rejected allegations that the shipment had anything to do with weapons. An Iranian U.N. mission statement did not mention the seized ship but dismissed Western allegations that it is pursuing nuclear weapons as "entirely groundless."

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice urged the committee to act to ensure that Iran complies with the arms embargo spelled out in three sanctions resolutions against Tehran for refusing to suspend its nuclear enrichment program.

"In light of Iran's continued failure to comply with its obligations, the Iran sanctions committee should redouble its efforts to ensure full and robust implementation of Security Council resolutions 1737, 1747, and 1803," she said, without mentioning specific steps.

U.N. diplomats say that since Iran is already under sanctions, the most the committee could do now was try to embarrass Tehran as much as possible.

Washington and its European allies suspect Iran is developing nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian atomic energy program. Tehran says its program is peaceful but refuses to suspend nuclear enrichment that could produce bomb fuel.

Rice reiterated that U.S. President Barack Obama was prepared for "principled engagement" with Iran but Tehran had to live up to its responsibilities.

French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert called the Iranian shipment a "gross violation" of the sanctions. His British counterpart John Sawers echoed this, saying he was waiting to hear why Iran shipped the material and what Syria's role was. (Additional reporting by Daniel Bases; editing by Alan Elsner)

Latest news

What Gas Poisonings In Iran Tell Us About The Ruling Regime

For months schools in Iran have been in the crosshairs of gas attacks against the country’s children. The mullahs’...

Iran’s Regime Inches Toward Nuclear Weapons

Iran’s regime is once again at the center of a dangerous escalation of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A...

US Congress Expresses Support for Iranian People’s Quest for a Democratic, Secular Republic

Several bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives have presented a resolution (H. RES. 100) supporting the Iranian...

Wave Of Poisoning Attacks Against Schools Leave Hundreds Sick

Iran has been shaken for three months by serial poisoning attacks against all-girls schools, which has left more than...

Iranian Security Forces Beat Baluch Doctor To Death

On Thursday, February 23, activists in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces reported the news of the death of Dr. Ebrahim...

World Powers Should Hear The Voice Of Iranians, Not Dictators And Their Remnants

Iran’s nationwide uprising continues despite its ups and down. The clerical system’s demise no longer seems a dream but...

Must read

Iran sentences woman to death

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Oct. 02 – Iran’s State...

EU gives Iran two more weeks in nuclear standoff

Reuters: The European Union agreed on Saturday to try...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you