Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tit-for-tat: Iran accuses Britain of weapons smuggling

Source: Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Oct. 12 – Iran’s state-owned press and senior security officials in the south-western Iranian province of Khuzestan accused Britain on Wednesday of smuggling weapons from Iraq to the Islamic Republic.


The accusations come as a senior British defence official told British dailies that Tehran was training Iraqi insurgents to carry out attacks on the Multi-National Force in Iraq.

The semi-official daily Kayhan claimed that four detained arms smugglers in Khuzestan had testified that London was meddling in southern Iran.

“At a time when the British government is using its mass press and Westerners to blame the Islamic Republic of Iran for interfering and meddling in Iraq, members of a weapons-smuggling ring confessed, after their arrest, that Britain oversaw arms smuggling from Iraq to Iran”, Kayhan wrote.

The top police commander in the province also said, “With the efforts of the State Security Forces in the province of Khuzestan and during an intelligence operation, 117 guns were discovered and confiscated from four weapons smugglers in the province”.

“These smugglers said during interrogation that the weapons had been brought in from the Iraqi province of al-Amara”, Brig. Gen. Isa Darai said.

“According to the confessions of the smugglers, there are several markets in the Iraqi province of al-Amara where weapons are bought and sold. British and American military forces are fully aware of the illegal actions and the smuggling of weapons to Iran. This is happening at a time when control in al-Amara is the responsibility of British troops”, the SSF chief in Khuzestan said.
Kayhan added that since the start of this year 1,603 guns had been confiscated in the province, “most of which were brought in to Iran’s Khuzestan province with the support of agents of Israel’s Mossad and backing of British troops”.

The daily wrote that British forces had armed “Iraqi trouble-makers” and given them “complete immunity and security” to “ensure that the entry routes to Khuzestan remained secure”.

Late September, Khuzestan’s Chief Prosecutor accused Canada and the United Kingdom of supporting and training individuals who carried out a spate of bombings in the provincial capital, Ahwaz, in June.

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