The German newspaper Die Velt revealed, quoting Western security sources, that Russia is violating the arms embargo and sanctions imposed on Iran by repairing some of Iran’s equipment, defense systems, heavy weapons by airlifting it into Syrian territory, and then to Russia by sea, in violation of resolution 2231 of the United Nations Security Council on Iran.
The newspaper said in its edition of Sunday, August 13th, that the Western security sources confirmed that Iran carried out during the month of June, two trips to the Khmeimim air base west of Syria, which is taken by Russia as a base for the transfer of military equipment.
According to the report, Iranian defense equipment and systems are being transported by truck from Khmeimim to the Syrian port of Tartous and then shipped to the Russian ship Sparta 3, arriving days later at the Russian port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea.
Security Council resolution 2231, adopted in June 2015 following the Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement between Iran and the Group of 5 + 1, provides for the prohibition of the sale, dispatch or transfer of any type of heavy military equipment, including tanks, heavy weapons, helicopters or fighters, warships or missile systems. The embargo also includes the maintenance and repair of such equipment and weapons.
According to die Velt, this circumvents the sanctions, in light of the increasing Iranian-Russian cooperation to support the Syrian regime.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin signed a cooperation agreement with Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan on “deepening military and technical cooperation” in response to the new US sanctions against Iran and Russia.
For his part, Vice-Chairman of the Defense Committee in the Russian parliament, Frants Klintsevich, denied the authenticity of this information and told the newspaper that “Russia had previously sent a large amount of weapons to Iran and of course these weapons need maintenance. Furthermore, Russia has trained Iranian specialists for this purpose.”
He also stressed that these trainings were among the contracts for the sale of weapons and are in full conformity with international laws, as he put it.
The transfer of arms between Russia and Iran is not new, as Fox News reported in September 2015 on the transfer of Russian weapons to Iran through Syria, which was denied by Assistant Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, at the time.
Iran had received months ago “S-300” missiles from Russia, in implementation of the contract concluded years ago with Moscow worth 10 billion dollars. But international sanctions have prevented and still prevent the delivery of other weapons to Tehran, which include jet fighters and tanks.
Iran also regularly sends military experts from the military, the Revolutionary Guards and military institutions as specialists from the Defense Ministry’s Malik Ashtar group and its air force to train and learn martial arts and conduct training courses in Russia.
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