Iran rejects French charge of arms to Syria

Iran on Tuesday denied an allegation from France that it was sending weapons to its ally Syria in violation of a UN embargo.

"The declarations from French officials are incorrect," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in a regular weekly briefing.

"Unfortunately we often see political positions by officials from some European countries, this time by France, that are baseless and not backed by proof," he said.

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France's foreign ministry said on Monday that Iran has repeatedly violated a UN arms embargo by exporting weapons to Syria, which is roiled by internal strife.

French foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said a UN panel of experts had informed the UN Security Council of "illegal and deeply shocking" violations of the embargo by Iran.

"We condemn these violations and call on Iran and Syria to comply with Security Council resolutions," Nadal said.

Senior US officials told AFP on Friday that Iran was supplying munitions to aid Syria's bloody protest crackdown in an initiative spearheaded by the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' elite Quds force, Qasem Soleimani.

Iran is forbidden to import or export weapons or ammunition under the terms of UN Security Council resolutions dating from 2007 and 2010 slapped on the Islamic republic because of its controversial nuclear programme.

© 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Jan 17, 2012

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