16 December 2010
Senegal has recalled its ambassador in Tehran after Iran failed to provide a "satisfactory" explanation for arms sent from Iran and discovered in a Nigerian port in October. Senegal, judging that "explanations provided on this affair by the Iranian side are not satisfactory, has decided to recall its ambassador for consultations," the foreign ministry said in a statement quoted by the French news agency AFP.
Senegal and Iran enjoyed strong diplomatic relations until last October, when 13 containers loaded with arms and munitions were found aboard a ship anchoring in Lagos, Nigeria. The Foreign Ministry in Dakar said the arms were bound for a "state in western Africa," without naming the exact destination. Tehran has claimed that the arms belonged to a private company and was not destined for Nigeria but for another "west African country," later identified as the Gambia.
The Gambian government broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in November, following the disclosure of the arms shipment. Nigeria has informed the UN Security Council about the matter, citing a possible breach of international sanctions against Iran. Senegal's media and observers said the government in Dakar had feared the arms consignment was destined for the separatist rebels in southern Senegal.
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