Iran Under Fire For Its Arms Smuggling Activity
As Iran continues to be under the scrutiny of the international community for its uranium enrichment activity, Iran for the past few days faces another challenge as Israel accused the nation of transporting rockets destined for Palestinian militants in Gaza.
The Israeli military stated that the rockets were on route in smuggling acitivity orchestrated by Iran. The rockets were manufactured in Syria and the rockets were flown to Iran. The rockets reached Gaza through route in Egypt.
Gaza is ruled by the terrorist group Hamas. Other terrorist groups also lurk in Gaza including Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, and Al Qaeda-inspired groups. All of these Islamic group posses rockets and are accused of firing these deadly rockets toward communities in southern Israel.
In addition, Israel accuses Iran of supplying rockets and other arms to Israel’s enemies, including militants in Gaza and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
New Violations By Iran
In her remarks in Washington DC, Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Rosemary A. DiCarlo said the US has found Iran’s recent indications of serious violations of the UN sanctions troubling. This refers to Iran’s smuggling of rockets, mortars and ammunition to Gaza militants.
“We call on the Committee, with the support of the Panel, to investigate all aspects of this incident.” – Ms. DiCarlo
She said the Committee should also be prepared to impose real consequences, such as possible sanctions designations, on those responsible.
In addition, Ms. DiCarlo stressed the need for the Security Council to probe that Iran sought to transfer arms to Iraq in violation of Security Council resolution 1737, an alarming development.
Ms. DiCarlo highlighted that any deal with Iran must address squarely the Security Council’s multiple resolutions on Iran’s nuclear obligations.
“It is critical that all Member States continue to fully implement sanctions on Iran.” – Ms. DiCarlo
She noted that full implementation of sanctions will support the diplomacy, as well as limit Iran’s illicit smuggling of arms, funds and technology.
Many Eyes Watching Iran
Iran has tried to conceal its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
IAEA General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, renewed his call on Iran to grant inspectors access to the Parchin nuclear facility site.
At a meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors in Vienna, Mr. Amano highlighted that despite intensified dialogue between the IAEA and Iran since the beginning of the year, no concrete results had been achieved.
Iran’s nuclear programme has become a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that the country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Iran has repeatedly stated that its nuclear programme is for the peaceful purpose of providing energy, but many countries believe it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
In March 2012, the head of the Security Council committee monitoring the arms embargo imposed on Iran over its nuclear programme reported new cases of reported violations by Iran. Ambassador Nestor Osorio of Colombia noted in his quarterly report that four Member States submitted a report regarding a violation of the resolution prohibiting Iran from carrying out activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
A Member State had also provided information on the results of inspections carried out on material confiscated in February last year from a truck on Iran’s border with Syria.
Another Member State had brought to the committee’s attention a public statement by the Secretary-General of Hizbollah, dated 7 February, in which he acknowledged that his group had received “material support in all possible and available forms from Iran.”
In December 2002, satellite photographs shown on U.S. television confirm the existence of sites at Natanz and Arak. The United States then accused Tehran of “across-the-board pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.” Iran agrees to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In February 2003, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami revealed that Iran discovered uranium deposits and announced plans to develop a nuclear fuel cycle.
On 23rd December 2006, the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously adopted a binding resolution that called on Iran to suspend its uranium-enrichment activities and to comply with its IAEA obligations. Resolution 1737 directed all states to prevent the supply or sale to Iran of any materials that could assist its nuclear or ballistic missile programmes. It also imposed an asset freeze on key companies and individuals named by the UN as contributors to Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes.
Resolution 1737 was strengthened by resolution 1747 the following year, which imposed a ban on arms sales to or from Iran, and expanded an existing freeze on assets. It also tightened the sanctions by imposing a ban on arms sales.
The IAEA has been increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile, about which the Agency continues to receive new information.
Iran has produced over 4,500 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, which, according to the Institute for Science and International Security, is almost enough for four nuclear weapons after further enrichment to weapons grade