Iran accused of supplying weapons to Libya, violating UN arms embargo
Iran has been accused of supplying arms to Libya, escalating the conflict and violating the UN arms embargo. The allegations were made on the basis of thorough examination of photos of four anti-tank guided missiles found in Libya. As per the report submitted by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres to Security Council, all the four tanks “had characteristics consistent with the Iranian-produced Dehlavieh”.
Guterres in his biannual report, submitted to the council late on Monday, said, “Based on the Secretariat’s analysis of the photographs provided, the Secretariat established that one of the four anti-tank guided missiles had characteristics consistent with the Iranian-produced Dehlavieh, though no production date for this anti-tank guided missile was visible.” “The Secretariat is unable to ascertain if this anti-tank guided missile had been transferred to Libya in a manner inconsistent with resolution 2231 (2015),” the report added.
UN investigation team has been still struggling to figure out when were these tanks transferred to Libya, as in 2007 UN imposed sanctions on Iran to prevent its arms exports. Though this restriction got lifted in October 2020 as part of the provision mentioned under the 2015 nuclear deal, signed between Tehran and world powers.
Israel, which raised the matter, took the photos of arms found in Libya to the UN 15-member council in May. Israel accused Iran for violating the sanctions and demanded due action to be taken against it. Just weeks after the Israel’s plea to UN, Iran reached out to Guterres and wrote that Tehran “categorically rejected” the Israeli claims as “totally baseless.”
Independent UN experts seconded Guterres report findings and said that Iranian manufactured Dehlavieh anti-tank guided missile system were found in possession of an armed group affiliated to the GNA. The experts added that transfer of the missile system was a “non-compliance” with the UN arms embargo on Libya, but did not mention who transferred the weapons.This is first time, Iran’s name emerged with regard to escalating conflict in Libya, though the Islamic Republic as been accused of similar interferences in Syria, Iraq and Yemen in the past.