Expert: Only small part of UN banned Iranian goods revealed
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 29 / Trend T.Konyayeva /
President of the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies Yevgeny Satanovsky believes only a part of weapons transported by Iran and nuclear materials supplied to the Islamic Republic, which UN banned, are identified and are being withdrawn.
"Apparently, it is not excluded that just a portion -minor part of this traffic is detected and confiscated," Satanovsky wrote Trend in an e-mail.
Media reported about the arrest of several vessels and aircraft belonging to Iran in March.
Turkey seized the cargo carried on board of a cargo aircraft en route from Iran to Syria in the second half of March. This was the second Iranian aircraft that has been delayed by Turkey in an attempt to search for the possible presence of prohibited materials and equipment on board.
March 15 the Israeli Navy intercepted a Victoria ship in the Mediterranean en route from Turkey to Egypt carrying a large shipment of weapons on March 15. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that weapons were of Iranian origin and destined for militants in the Gaza Strip.
Later, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi vehemently refuted Israel's statements.
Media also spread information about the confiscation by the border authorities of South Korea and Singapore of cargoes containing suspicious nuclear materials and weapons destined for Iran in March.
Two batches of contraband materials were detained at the Seoul airport in December and at the Singapore port in September 2010. The cargo also included more than 400 suspicious vessels with radioactive raw materials, and aluminum powder, which could be used to create nuclear warheads.
The Nigerian secret service seized three containers with rockets, hand grenades, ammunition and other weapons in the port of Lagos in October 2010. The containers were shipped from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Dispatcher later sought to have the containers were re-loaded and shipped to the Gambia. Iran stated that the weapons were sent by a private company.
Presumably, the final destinations of the weapons were to be Hamas and Hezbollah.
Satanovsky said Iran is an active participant of the developments occurring in Africa and the Middle East, so it supplies weapons to factions fighting for power, including the allied.
Furthermore, approaching the creation of a nuclear bomb, Iran needs to replenish the stock of nuclear materials and upgrade equipments, he added.
Satanovsky believes sanctions slow Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, although they do not affect Iran's conventional weapons supply.
So far, the UN Security Council adopted six resolutions, four of which are aimed at imposing sanctions against Iran, demanding to abandon uranium enrichment, and two resolutions containing warnings.
Iranian nuclear program has caused concern since 2003, when the IAEA became aware of its concealed activity. In late 2003, Iran signed the Additional Protocol to the NPT and voluntarily announced about the suspension of uranium enrichment. However, it returned to this activity. Iran insists that as a party to the NPT it has the full right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear weapons. However, it is necessary as fuel for atomic power plants. Several countries, including the U.S., are sure that Iran strives to develop nuclear weapons and call for to prevent this development.
Satanovsky said the only truly effective measure to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and halt attempts to transport weapons is a military scenario.
"But, it [the military scenario] will not be realized by the world community, as it requires resources and political will, which this community lacks," he said.