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U.N. Worried About Iran Behavior And Soleimani Trips | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

New York – Some state members at the U.N. Security Council expressed on Wednesday night their worries concerning Iran’s failure to abide by an arms embargo and the breaching of the travel restrictions against Revolutionary Guards leaders, mainly Major General Qasem Soleimani.

Briefing the U.N. Security Council on resolution 2231, which endorsed a plan of action on Iran’s nuclear program, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman spoke about the seizure of an arms shipment by the French Navy in the Northern Indian Ocean in March 2016.

“France concluded that an arms shipment had originated in Iran and that such transfer had been undertaken contrary to annex B of the resolution,” he said.

Feltman also said the Secretariat received information from Australia and the Combined Maritime Forces on another arms seizure, off the coast of Oman, in February 2016, by the Royal Australian Navy. “That shipment of arms was also assessed, by the U.S. Navy, to have originated in Iran,” he said.

Fetlman added: “[We] look forward to the opportunity to examine the arms seized in all three instances and obtain additional information in order to corroborate the details provided and independently ascertain the origin of these shipments.”

Security Council member states called during their meeting on Wednesday to continue the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which they said is considered as a “historic agreement” and an important diplomatic achievement that turned the world to a safer place during the first year of its performance.

Wednesday’s Security Council meeting comes a year following the January 2016 plan to terminate resolution 1737 and replace it by resolution 2231, an agreement setting out a monitoring mechanism related to the interdiction of arms exported from Iran and a travel ban, in addition to monitoring and deciding on proposals by states for nuclear, ballistic missile, or arms-related transfers to or activities with Iran.

On Wednesday, the U.N. report mentioned a televised statement delivered by the secretary general of the so-called Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah who said his party receives its salaries, expenses, weapons and missiles from Iran.

In this regard, Feltman said that any arms shipment sent from Iran to Hezbollah would violate the implementation of the provisions in Annex B of Resolution 2231 if it took place after Jan. 16, 2016.

Concerning the travel ban violations, the report includes information on two possible foreign travels by Brigadier General Naqdi and on numerous possible foreign travels by Major General Soleimani to Iraq and Syria.

In response to the Secretariat’s request for clarification on the possible transfer of arms to Hezbollah, as well as the possible travel ban violations, the report said that Iran underlined that “measures undertaken in combating terrorism and violent extremism in the region have been consistent with its national security interests and international commitments.”

The meeting of the 15 member states of the Security Council, in addition to Germany and the EU was a clear message to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump who had threatened to terminate the nuclear deal with Iran. The meeting aims to show that the deal was the best solution in dealing with Iran and that ending the deal would challenge the entire international community.

For her part, Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said that the deal between Iran and the West had prevented Tehran from producing nuclear weapons.

Power added: “This progress on Iran nuclear issues should not distract this council from Iran’s other actions that continue to destabilize the Middle East, in ways that affect a lot of issues on this council’s agenda.”