Sunday, August 30, 2009
Arab Nation Seizes N. Korean Arms Headed for Iran
Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
The United Arab Emirates has seized a ship carrying North Korean weapons and ammunition to Iran, the Financial Times reported. The seizure is the first time a country has acted on United Nations sanctions against North Korea, and the move also reflects fears among Arabs that Iran will dominate the Muslim world with nuclear capability. Evidence has surfaced in the past two years of increased ties between North Korea and Iran, both of which are feared by the Western world as trying to become nuclear powers.
The U.N. imposed sanctions on North Korea in attempt to prevent the country from exporting weapons to fund its nuclear weapon program. The UAE reportedly seized the weapons several weeks ago, finding 10 containers of rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition that were camouflaged as “machine parts.”
A diplomat of a country that is a member of the U.N. sanctions committee said that weapons were ordered by an Iranian company with links to the Revolutionary Guard. The exact location of the seizure was not disclosed except that it was not in the port of Dubai.
A United States navy destroyer in June followed a North Korean ship suspected of carrying arms, and the vessel turned back instead of continuing on course. Another ship was intercepted by India earlier this month, but an investigation of the contents of the shipment has not been completed.