An Iranian arms shipment seized in Nigeria last year, which Tehran says was part of a legitimate trade deal with Gambia, was illegally exported regardless of its destination, Nigeria’s foreign minister said.
Nigeria reported Iran to the U.N. Security Council in November for an apparent breach of U.N. sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme. Tehran said the shipment was part of a legitimate sale by a private company to Gambia.
“We’re part of an international community, we signed on to a resolution that approves sanctions and one of the sanctions was the transportation of arms and ammunition from Iran,” Nigerian Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia told Reuters on Thursday.
“Whether it was destined for Nigeria or Gambia or anywhere else it was an illegal shipment and therefore we had obligations under international law and under our obligations to the United Nations to do what we did.” The weapons included assorted calibres of mortars and 107mm rockets — designed to attack static targets and used by armies to support infantry units — and shells for a 23mm anti-aircraft gun, hidden in containers marked building materials.
A suspected member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Azim Adhajani, and a Nigerian accused of being his accomplice pleaded not guilty this month to charges of possession and importation of weapons and with making a false cargo declaration.
Prosecution documents identify Adhajani as a Tehran-based businessm... >>>
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