Iran ´imported over £350 million of weapons in three years´ (TELEGRAPH UK) By David Blair 05/03/12)
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Iran imported weapons worth over £350 million in the space of three
years despite being the target of a United Nations arms embargo,
Oxfam will disclose on Thursday.
In all, 10 countries subjected to arms embargoes still managed to buy
weaponry worth over £1.4 billion between 2000 and 2010.
Their success in tapping the international arms market showed the
ineffectiveness of current restrictions, said Anna MacDonald, the
Control Arms campaigns manager for Oxfam. She added: "If you are an
unscrupulous government, it´s quite easy to find your way around
The UN Security Council urged all member states to "exercise
vigilance and restraint" in the supply of arms to Iran from 2007
onwards. But data from the Stockholm International Peace Research
Institute suggests the country´s rulers went on to buy weaponry worth
£350 million by 2010.
Russia and China, who prevented the UN from imposing a comprehensive
embargo, are understood to have been the principal suppliers.
Azerbaijan, which will host the Eurovision song contest later this
month, is subjected to an arms embargo by the Organisation for
Security and Cooperation in Europe, an association of 56 states.
Nonetheless, the country imported arms worth over £450 million
between 2000 and 2010, making it the biggest purchaser of weaponry by
any nation under embargo.
"One of the reasons why embargoes don´t work is there are no global
rules on the conventional arms trade," said Ms MacDonald. Individual
countries are free either to restrict their exports or sell weapons
to any buyer – and the figures demonstrate that even governments
subjected to embargoes are skilled at evading them.
Campaigners say the solution would be a global treaty regulating the
trade in conventional weapons. Britain already forbids any exports
that could be used for "internal repression" or "external
aggression". A new treaty could take those restrictions and make them
The UN will hold a conference to discuss the issue in July. However,
countries like Russia and China benefit greatly from arms exports.
They are highly unlikely to accept any international rules that would
restrict this trade. (© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited
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