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      Iran Sent Banned Weapons to Syria, Says UN Report

      More details released of a UN report which says Iran is continuing to circumvent the sanctions imposed on it.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 5/13/2011, 3:18 AM / Last Update: 5/13/2011, 3:15 AM

      More details were made available Thursday on the contents of a United Nations report which says that the Iranian regime is continuing to blatantly violate the sanctions which have been imposed on it.

      According to CNN, the UN report says that Iranian weapons which have banned for export under Security Council resolutions are making their way to Iran's close ally, Syria.

      According to the report, the UN’s expert panel found that Syria was the destination “of six out of the nine incidents of conventional arms transfers” by Iran that were discovered.

      One such example, says the report, was reported by Turkish authorities who were inspecting a cargo plane that had stopped over in Turkey en route from Iran to Aleppo, Syria, in March.

      Turkish authorities were quoted as saying that “Arms were found onboard in nineteen crates declared as ‘auto spare parts.’ They comprised 60 Kalashnikov rifles, 14 BKC (Bixi) machine guns, 7,920 rounds of Kalashnikov ammunition, 560 60 mm mortars and 1,288 120 mm mortars.”

      The report also says that “It is likely that other transfers took place undetected and that other illicit shipments were identified but not reported to the committee.”

      According to CNN, the report says that the Syrians have denied the allegations.

      On Tuesday, other parts of the UN report were made public by The Associated Press, such as the fact that the experts believe that while the sanctions have made it harder, costlier and riskier for Iran to acquire items needed for its banned nuclear and missile activities, “Iran’s circumvention of sanctions across all areas, in particular the use of front companies, concealment methods in shipping, financial transactions and the transfer of conventional arms and related material is willful.”

      The panel of experts also noted that “Iran maintains its uranium enrichment and heavy water related activities ... and in the area of ballistic missiles, continues to test missiles and engage in prohibited procurement.”

      The report recommends that the UN Security Council impose additional sanctions on two individuals and two trading companies involved in Iran’s illegal shipment of conventional weapons.