16 November 2010
The Nigerian government has reported to the UN Security Council the seizure of a shipment of arms from Iran. Last month, authorities in the West African country discovered the weapons, including rocket launchers and grenades, in containers labeled as building materials. Tehran claimed the weapons were the subject of a "misunderstanding", which had been cleared up. Nigerian Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia said: "Following preliminary investigations, our permanent mission in New York has reported the seizure and inspection of the arms shipment from Iran."
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who visited Nigeria last week, said: "A private company which had sold conventional defense weapons to another country in West Africa had transferred the shipment via Nigeria, which raised some doubts with relevant officials." He said an Iranian representative of the company "had offered explanations and I believe the misunderstanding has been cleared up".
The France-based shipping company CMA CGM which transported the shipment said it was hidden in containers labeled as building materials and attempts were made to send it to Gambia before the Nigerian police seized it. Iran is under UN sanctions and banned Iran from supplying, selling or transferring arms.
Meanwhile, Iran's Armed Forces launched five days of drills to test Iran's air-defense systems. "Air-defense systems which use short, medium and long-range missiles in addition to the newer version of aerial defence systems will be tested" during the exercises across the country, an official told AFP. The state-run news service 'Press TV' said the drills were also being held near "nuclear and vital landmarks, and include tests of long-range anti-air missiles."
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