Africa

Nigeria reports Iran to UN over seized arms

Mahmoud AhmadinejadALL things being equal, the United Nations Security Council would by this morning have received a formal report from Nigeria about the seizure of dangerous weapons shipped into its territory from Iran, last month.

Abuja’s action to that effect is in line with relevant Security Council resolutions against Iran, Empowered Newswire yesterday quoted Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the world body, Ambassador Joy Ogwu, to have said.

Diplomats at the world body point to UN Security Council Resolution 1929 of this year and some other earlier resolutions which effectively imposed an arms embargo on Iran.

The implications of such observations are two-fold: the Iranian shipment to Nigeria violated the resolutions and Nigeria needs to inform the Security Council of the world body about the arms cache.

Prof. Ogwu, on Thursday night in New York, confirmed that she had already alerted the current president of the UN Security Council Sir Mark Lyall Grant, who is the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the UN, about Nigeria’s intentions of informing the Council and its Sanctions Committee about the controversial shipment.

Her words: “I have already notified the President of the Council, Sir Grant, to expect a letter from us reporting the incident and that further investigations is going on.”

Her planned action coincides with moves in Abuja, where the Foreign Affairs Minister Henry Odein Ajumogobia told reporters yesterday morning that if Nigeria found any evidence that the arms shipment broke UN sanctions, the Federal Government would alert the Security Council.

Reuters reported yesterday morning in New York that Ajumogobia met with the Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki “late on Thursday to discuss the shipment, intercepted by Nigeria’s secret service in the port of Lagos and found to contain rockets and other explosives.”

According to the Newswire, Ajumogobia said “the consignment did originate from Iran. That’s been confirmed from our own shipping documents and the Iranian foreign minister.”

“If Nigeria finds in the conclusion of investigations that there has been a breach of any sanctions, as a member of the U.N. Council, we would do what is necessary,” Ajumogobia said, adding that Mottaki promised Iran’s co-operation with an investigation into the shipment.

In New York, Ambassador Ogwu, disclosed that a letter was being prepared by the Nigerian Mission to inform the Security Council of the incident in line with the resolution which Nigeria had also voted for in June.

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