Iran shipping arms to Syria: West

2012-09-21 10:00

New York - The four Western powers trying to rein in Iran's nuclear programme accused Tehran on Thursday of shipping arms to Syria in violation of UN sanctions and ignoring demands to open key nuclear facilities to UN inspectors.

The United States, Britain, France and Germany expressed growing concern that Iran's goal is building a nuclear arsenal — not nuclear power plants for peaceful civilian use, as Tehran insists.

US Ambassador Susan Rice told a Security Council meeting on the implementation of UN sanctions that members can't be complacent about Iran's "latest leaps forward in its prohibited nuclear activities".

"We must recognise that we are facing a situation that continues to worsen," she said.

A spokesperson for Iran's mission to the UN did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Rice and ambassadors from the other Western powers expressed serious concern at Iran's arms exports to President Bashar Assad's regime in violation of a UN ban against all weapons exports.

Assad's 'sinister work'

She reiterated the conclusion of the panel of experts monitoring implementation of sanctions that Syria is now the "central party to illicit Iranian arms transfers".

Britain's UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said Iran's supply of weaponry to Syria is unacceptable and it must stop.

"It is in stark contrast to the will of the Syrian people and a reminder of Iran's hypocrisy in claiming to support freedom in the Arab world," he said.

France's UN Ambassador Gerard Araud accused Assad of massacring his own people and urged rigorous implementation of sanctions to keep Iran from providing his forces with the arms to accomplish his "sinister work".

Rice called on states in the region to "work together and redouble their efforts to deny, inspect and seize illicit Iranian shipments".

The 18-month Syrian conflict has escalated to a civil war which has killed more than 23 000 people, according to activists.

Alarm at latest report

Germany's UN Ambassador Peter Wittig said reports indicate Iran is shipping arms to Syria "under a humanitarian pretext", which makes it crucial that all countries enforce the sanctions to keep pressure on Iran.

Russia and China, who have vetoed three Western-backed resolutions aimed at pressuring the Assad regime to end the violence and start talks with the opposition, made no mention of Iranian arms shipments to Syria in their speeches to the council but did address the nuclear issue.

On Iran's nuclear programme, the Western powers expressed alarm at the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

It said Iran has effectively shut down a probe of a site suspected of being used for work on nuclear weapons development while doubling the number of machines it could use to make the core of nuclear warheads at an underground bunker safe from airborne attack.

The nuclear concerns will be at the top of the agenda at a ministerial meeting of the four Western powers, Russia and China on 27 September on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly gathering of world leaders that begins on Tuesday.

"The Iranian regime is at a crossroads," Britain's Lyall Grant told the council. "It can continue to ignore the international community's concerns over its nuclear programme, or it can negotiate a settlement that will help to realise the benefits of a civil nuclear programme.

"It can support the oppressive regime in Syria in suppressing freedom, or it can play a constructive role in the region. It can be an exporter of terrorism or a responsible member of the international community."

  • dylan.sciarappa - 2012-09-21 10:09

    And the warmongering continues

      willemdaniel.venter - 2012-09-21 10:36

      And who is arming the Rebels the past 18 months? Or are they fighting with sticks and stones? And the same logic is followed with Iran's alleged nuclear development: Israel, a small country with an exceedingly violent recent history, has a vast undeclared stockpile of nuclear weapons that is somehow completely OK to everyone up in arms about Iran..??

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-21 10:58

      Willemdaniel ""And who is arming the Rebels the past 18 months?"" For the first 11 months, the Syrian opposition was unarmed, and only than, started fighting these assad criminal thugs back. The weapons are mainly in the hands of the FSA, more than 60 000 soldiers deserted from assad's terrorists army, who brought along their Russian made rifles etc. But, if you are one of these loony radicals, this truth will obvious not suit you, than I suggest you go to RT , and they will give you the news you like !!!

  • allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-09-21 10:44

    Well they know if Syria (Assad) goes , Iran will follow and not from the outside but from within .

      jaba.kov - 2012-09-21 11:28

      Inshallah, Ameen.

  • joseph.motloung.3 - 2012-09-21 12:43

    for some time now the gulf dictators, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to name a few, have been providing these terrorists with weapons and cash despite that the Assad regime had expressed willingness to enter into dialogue with the opposition. These continued calls by non-Syrians for Assad to step down show how stupid these people making the calls are because they have no legitimate right to decide who leads Syria, only the people of Syria can make that call. The people of Syria were given a chance to have a voice in the governing of their country during the referendum. The conclusion is that the west don't care about the people of Syria they are only interested in illegal regime change. With regard to the Iranian nuclear issue, even if Iran wanted to get nuclear weapons who would blame them? They are surrounded by US military bases plus how is it ok that the most murderous regime the zionist regime which lives off killing Palestinians is allowed to have nuclear bombs. They recently said they wont attend a summit on the creation of a nuclear free Middle East

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 14:06

      You're still making up your own story of what is happening in Syria.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-21 14:09

      The hypocrisy of these rogue western terrorists is sickening. Last year they went to the UNSC and asked for an arms embargo against Libya and naive countries like Russia, China, India and SA agreed with this resolution, only for France, at the behest of Nato countries to start dropping arms into that country, in violation of their own sponsored resolution. Why should any principled law abiding countries listen to these deceivers. Both Iran and Russia are doing what these rogues always do, speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 14:10

      Your "analysis" is pretty much stale nonsense thrown out by 100 million Muslims of the region who have freed themselves from the lies you're still living.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 14:11

      Israel was created in 1948 from 52% of the land formerly occupied by the Jewish and Palestinian people, and Palestine 43%. Most of the Israeli territory was the Negev Desert. Jerusalem fell into neither territory. Palestinians with their unelected, self-serving neighbors declared war on Israel the very next day. In the 1960's they even invaded Israel twice. Full military invasions. The result: Israel survived and pushed them back, gaining territory in the process. This is the origin of what you wrongly call "stealing land". There have been almost daily attacks by Palestinians, incited by their self-serving unelected backers. Palestinians even teach their children at Kindergarten to attack Israel, rather than be peaceful. Children. Kindergarten. From day one, and even today it's wage war on Israel. Israel defends herself. Yes sometimes going too far, which is unacceptable, but self-defense nonetheless. All that needs to happen is for Palestinians to choose peace side by side with Israel. This is more likely going forward now because the unelected dictators are being removed from power by their people, one by one. They will no longer use the Palestinians for their own internal political ploys. But unfortunately it seems you will continue to believe and live these ploys.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 14:13

      But then to you Fidel Castro is a hero. Talk about living in the distant past, the 1950's, when Communism was an ideal.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 14:25

      To Fidel, even Nelson Mandela is pretty much "a rogue Western terrorist". To him Nelson Mandela is a phony, a lackey of the West, a modern-day Uncle Tom. His exact words in the US/Mandela thread a few weeks ago. Imagine that.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-09-21 14:29

      This song and dance again. A referendum while being shelled a year into the conflict ? Assad's regime had 48Yrs to give the people their voice but now a year into the conflict you expect the people to go to the ballot box. Do you honestly think they'll back down from their demand of Assad stepping down ? A hereditory dictatorship not giving up power . Nukes ,lets do this again . Iran and Syria were caught trying to procure materials and designs in a clandestine nuclear proliferation network , in violation of treaties signed and have been decpetive in their dealings with the IAEA (look for the Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei reports) and Iran has threatened to eliminate a member nation of the UN .Isreal is a democracy who is under constant attack from autocratic regimes and then you have Iran which is a theocratic autocracy and makes concerning remarks about the end time. I could carry on. Isreal is not the most murderous nation in th world and neiher do they live off killing Palestinians. Its the same anti-west propaganda that has no merits or evidence and relies on percecution allegations as its only crutch to invoke empathy and Muslim solidarity.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-22 14:21

      Pseudo Proff Fidel, ""Both Iran and Russia are doing what these rogues always do, speaking out of both sides of their mouth."" Fidel, Did I miss something

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 14:08

    For anyone seriously wanting to know what is happening in Syria, here is an excellent video just published last night:

      tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-09-21 14:21

      “The Press, which is mostly controlled by vested interests, has an excessive influence on public opinion.” —Albert Einstein

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 14:23

      Tom, that was 80 years ago. Hello! No wonder you're so far off the truth.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 14:33

      Where do you get your news from then? Do you fly to every point of conflict or interest and gather information yourself on the ground? You have to be reading or watching something, some form of media. Yet your quote suggests that you eliminate "the press". Not much left after that. So you're feeling your way around in the dark, with no "press".

      tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-09-21 16:21

      Still rings true today! Read:

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-21 17:45

      Tom, ""The Press, which is mostly controlled by vested interests, has an excessive influence on public opinion.” —Albert Einstein 'Rather a press, that competes with various 'vested' interest groups, than the one controlled by the state' -Albert Anthonyfromafrica

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 17:45

      It rings true TO YOU today because you've trapped yourself in the past. That's why you make the totally wrong comments you continually make on this website, and don't even know it. It's 2012, not 1930. We're in the Information Age.

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