The UN secretary general believes Iran is likely in violation of an international arms embargo, citing June 2016 comments by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah thanking Iran for weapons, according to a confidential memo seen by Reuters.
The report will reportedly be discussed in a meeting of the UN Security Council on Jan. 18, and details other potential Iranian violations of the arms embargo.
Past UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon reportedly wrote, “In a televised speech broadcast by Al Manar TV on 24 June 2016, Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, stated that the budget of Hezbollah, its salaries, expenses, weapons and missiles all came from the Islamic Republic of Iran.” He continued, “I am very concerned by this statement, which suggests that transfers of arms and related materiel from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Hezbollah may have been undertaken contrary” to arms embargo.
Iran neither confirmed nor denied the shipment of arms when queried by the UN, and simply responded “measures undertaken by the Islamic Republic of Iran in combating terrorism and violent extremism in the region have been consistent with its national security interests and international commitments.”
Iran frequently touts its ongoing activities in Syria as a counter-terrorism mission, saying Iranian-backed Hezbollah is in Syria to fight against the Islamic State. In reality, Hezbollah has only fought against ISIS when it came into direct conflict with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s interests. Hezbollah has thousands of troops inside Syria fighting alongside the Syrian regime.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has confirmed Hezbollah’s role in Syria, along with Iranian support in 2012, saying, “Long after the Assad regime is gone, the people of Syria and the entire global community will remember that Hizballah, and its patron Iran, contributed to the regime’s murder of countless innocent Syrians.”
The report continued, “Iran has also provided Hizballah with training, weapons and explosives, as well as political, diplomatic, monetary and organizational aid.”
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