Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
03:21 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
17 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
West accuses Iran of shipping arms to Syria
Associated Press
William Hague, U.K. Foreign Minister, and Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., during a meeting on Syria in the United Nations Security Council, Aug. 30, 2012.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
William Hague, U.K. Foreign Minister, and Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., during a meeting on Syria in the United Nations Security Council, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
A+ A-

UNITED NATIONS: The four Western powers trying to rein in Iran's nuclear program accused Tehran on Thursday of shipping arms to Syria in violation of U.N. sanctions and ignoring demands to open key nuclear facilities to U.N. 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.

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

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

A spokesman for Iran's mission to the U.N. did not immediately respond to an email 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 U.N. ban against all weapons exports.

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 U.N. 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 U.N. 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.

Germany's U.N. 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 program, 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 Sept. 27 on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly gathering of world leaders that begins 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 program, or it can negotiate a settlement that will help to realize the benefits of a civil nuclear program. 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."

 
Home Middle East
 
     
 
France / Germany / Iran / Syria / United Kingdom / United States of America
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 17, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS