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US accuses Iran of shipping arms to Syria

Published time: March 22, 2012 01:34
Edited time: March 22, 2012 07:34

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA ) shows hunting rifles, computers, RPG rockets, motors shells, magazines, binoculars and riot guns displayed alongside other weapons siezed by Syrian security forces in the district of Homs. (AFP Photo / HO / SANA)

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The US and Britain have accused Iran of supplying weapons to Syria at a United Nations meeting. Meanwhile Russia has warned against turning up the heat on Tehran.

­During a Wednesday briefing at the UN Security Council in New York, American, British and French diplomats expressed their concern at reports that Iran had violated UN sanctions by supplying arms to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"We are alarmed that the majority of the violations involved illicit transfers of arms and related material from Iran to Syria, where the Assad regime is using them to violently repress the Syrian people," the US deputy ambassador to the UN, Rosemary DiCarlo, told the council, as quoted by Reuters.

Both Damascus and Tehran deny they have traded weapons. Iran is banned from exporting arms under the sanctions adopted by the UN over its refusal to halt its nuclear enrichment program.

Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, warned against stoking the fires around Iran’s nuclear program and urged the international community to be more objective when it comes to assessing developments concerning Iran’s nuclear program. Churkin spoke in favor of resuming negotiations between Iran and the IAEA and the six-party talks, with Moscow insisting on a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Tehran is under intense pressure from the US and the EU, who have targeted Iran's economy with heavy sanctions over allegations that it is aiming to develop nuclear weapons. Iran claims its nuclear program has only a peaceful nature

While Israel mulls a unilateral preventive strike against Iran, the US is seeking regime change in Syria as the best way to reach Tehran, believes international consultant and author Adrian Salbuchi. “The military in the United States are preparing to first deal with Syria in order to have a free chessboard to then go ahead and attack Iran.”

Salbuchi insists that since the ill-fated war in Iraq we cannot take any American declarations regarding alleged weapons of mass destruction seriously.

With Iran being threatened over its nuclear program he questions why Israel should be trusted with nuclear weapons. “Israel’s behavior in the region has been deplorable over the past decades. They consistently had a very aggressive strategy,” he told RT.

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