Sunday, March 20, 2011

So much for sanctions against Iran . . .

Remember how sanctions against Iran were supposed to act as a deterrent, discouraging that nation from continuing its nuclear weapons program?

Yeah. Right.

KUALA LUMPUR March 17 - Police have seized two containers loaded with equipment parts believed used to make weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads, from a vessel in Port Klang two weeks ago.

The Sun daily reported today that the contraband, comprising dismantled parts listed under controlled or restricted sale by the United Nations Security Council, was found in the containers on board a Malaysian-registered ship bound for the Middle-East.

The free daily said police were tipped off about the illegal shipment when the vessel arrived at Northport from China.

This is the second such incident involving Malaysia, with the first being the Abdul Qadeer Khan network in 2004 where a Sri Lankan national, BSA Tahir, was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for his role in selling parts capable of making nuclear devices.

There's more at the link. For 'Middle East', read 'Iran'.

Nor is this the only recent incident. According to Google News:

South Korea and Singapore have intercepted suspected nuclear and weapons materials bound for Iran that breach UN sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic, diplomats said on Thursday.

The two seizures, made in the past six months but only revealed now, add to a growing list of alleged Iranian attempts to breach an international arms embargo, which are bringing mounting pressure to tighten sanctions, they said.

"South Korea authorities found more than 400 suspicious tubes in a jet cargo at Seoul airport in December," one diplomat told AFP, giving details from a report to the UN Iran sanctions committee.

The tubes could be used for nuclear facilities, the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the seizures have not been made public.

"In September, aluminium powder that can be used for rockets was found on a ship in Singapore harbor," the diplomat added.

In each case the product was destined for Iran.

The details were confirmed by a second envoy at the UN who said the sanctions committee would study them when it discusses the latest report from Iran experts monitoring the sanctions regime.

"This is going to add to calls for at least tighter implementation of the current sanctions," said the envoy, also speaking on condition of anonymity. "There are still too many countries not applying the measures."

The United Nations has passed four rounds of sanctions against Iran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, including a global arms embargo.

Western nations accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear bomb while Iran insists its enrichment programme is for purely civilian purposes.

Over the past year a growing number of cases of weapons and explosives seizures involving Iran have been brought before the UN sanctions committee.

Up to seven tons of RDX high explosive were found on a ship in an Italian port in September that was going from Iran to Syria.

And Nigerian agents seized 13 containers of weapons, including rockets and grenades, in Lagos port in October.

The containers were loaded at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas and were reportedly destined for separatist rebels in Senegal's Casamances region. Senegal has since broken diplomatic ties with Tehran.

Britain said this month that arms seized by its special forces in Afghanistan on February 5 were being supplied by Iran to the Taliban militia fighting international forces.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned what he called Iran's "completely unacceptable" actions.

The pressure will likely increase after Israel this week accused Iran of supplying weapons found on a ship intercepted by naval commandos as it headed for the Hamas-run Palestinian territory of Gaza. Iran has denied the claim.

Again, more at the link.

Hey, President Obama? Tell me again how the sanctions you approved of so strongly, and signed into US law, will "... impose restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities, its ballistic missile program, and, for the first time, its conventional military" and "... put a new framework in place to stop Iranian smuggling". Are you sure about that? What happens if Iran carries on like this? Are you planning another Operation Odyssey Dawn for their benefit? Or will you wait until they test a nuclear device, then wring your hands and condemn Israel for converting Iran into the biggest radioactive parking lot in the Middle East?



Anonymous said...

Or will you wait until they test a nuclear device, then wring your hands and condemn Israel for converting Iran into the biggest radioactive parking lot in the Middle East?

Considering what has come out of the Ahmadinnerjacket's mouth, I wouldn't be surprised if he sees the light, one way or the other. If he does eat one courtesy of the IAF I'd feel bad for the innocents around him, but I wouldn't be surprised.


Dirk said...

Sanctions on rogue states work about as well as gun laws (or any laws, for that matter) work on criminals.