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      UN: Iran Supplying Syria with Weapons

      The United Nations has accused Iran of supplying the Syrian government with weapons, which it is aiming at its own population.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 8/22/2012, 8:08 PM

      Member of UN observer team in Damascus hotel
      Member of UN observer team in Damascus hotel
      Reuters

      The United Nations has accused Iran of supplying the Syrian government with weapons, which it is aiming at its own population.

      The accusation by U.N. Political Affairs Chief Jeffrey Feltman came Wednesday as Syrian Army tanks encircled Damascus and shelled the capital city.

      According to a U.N. Security Council panel of independent experts that has been monitoring sanctions against Iran, the Islamic Republic has transferred weapons to Syria several times. Government officials accused Western countries of supplying opposition forces with arms as well.

      "The Secretary-General has repeatedly expressed his concern about the arms flows to the two parties in Syria, which in some cases appear to violate Resolution 1747 passed by this Council banning arms exports under Chapter 7 authority,” Feltman said.

      The resolution bans arms exports by Iran, and under Chapter 7 of the charter, the Security Council is authorized to activate any intervention ranging from diplomatic missions to economic sanctions or military action.

      It could now pave the way for the Security Council to authorize military action against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

      Resolution 1747 originally was passed in response to the Islamic Republic's refusal to halt its nuclear development activities, including its uranium enrichment program.

      "Both the government and the opposition are focusing on military operations and the use of force, with government forces using heavy weapons on population centers,” Feltman told the Security Council at a regular briefing on the Middle East. “The Syrian people are suffering grievously from the appalling further militarization of this conflict,” he added.

      On Wednesday, at least 40 people died in Damascus alone, as government forces shelled and bombarded neighborhoods in the capital with heavy artillery from the surrounding mountains, and from Air Force helicopters.