Iran says arms seized in Nigeria were for Gambia
Crates of weapons seized in Nigeria last year had been sent from Iran and were destined for Gambia as part of a three-year-old agreement between the two countries, the Iranian ambassador to Nigeria said, Reuters reported.
Nigeria reported Iran to the U.N. Security Council in November for an apparent breach of U.N. sanctions. Tehran's ambassador said he had told Nigerian authorities the shipment was part of legitimate trade with Gambia.
The weapons included assorted calibres of mortars and 107mm rockets -- designed to attack static targets and used by armies to support infantry units -- and shells for a 23mm anti-aircraft gun, hidden in containers marked building materials.
"Security agencies in your country assessed these containers. I informed them formally that this consignment was not meant for Nigeria, it was meant for another country which you know is the Gambia," Hussein Abdullahi told reporters in Nigeria's capital Abuja late on Tuesday.
"It is based on the agreement signed between Iran and the Gambia three years back and this is not the first part of that consignment. This is the third part and I asked them to please not allow people who are not happy with our friendly relations to gain advantage of this incident," Abdullahi said.