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Cablegate: Iran: Council Considers Israeli Seizure of Arms

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #1005 3131500
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091500Z NOV 09
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7559
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHII/VIENNA IAEA POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 001005

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM MNUC ETTC KNNP IR UNSC
SUBJECT: IRAN: COUNCIL CONSIDERS ISRAELI SEIZURE OF ARMS

1. SUMMARY: In November 6 Security Council consultations,
Ambassador DiCarlo drew the Council's attention to a letter
from Israel reporting that Israel had found arms being
shipped from Iran to Syria in violation of UNSCR 1747. She
noted with concern that this was the third reported sanctions
violation this year involving arms being shipped between Iran
and Syria. The United States, DiCarlo said, expected the
Security Council's Iran Sanctions Committee ("1737
Committee") to investigate. The UK and France also expressed
concern and urged the Committee to review this pattern of
reported violations. Russia agreed the 1737 Committee should
investigate, adding that Israel had also suggested the
shipment might violate UNSCR 1701's ban on arms transfers to
non-state actors in Lebanon. China and Mexico said the
Council should not discuss the matter until the Committee
considers it. Libya alleged that Israel's actions were an
attempt to divert attention from the Goldstone Report and
that its inspection of the vessel was an illegal act of
"piracy." Japanese Perm Rep Takasu, chair of the 1737
Committee, said the Committee had a duty to consider the
matter. END SUMMARY.

2. In closed consultations of the Security Council on
November 6, Ambassador DiCarlo drew the Council's attention
to a letter the Israeli Perm Rep had sent the day before to
the President of the Security Council about Israel's
discovery of arms being shipped from Iran to Syria. She
noted that Israel had reported its discovery of hundreds of
tons of Iran-origin arms (rockets, missiles, mortars,
grenades, small arms / light weapons) being shipped in
violation of Security Council resolution 1747. (NOTE: UNSCR
1747 prohibits Iran from exporting arms and related materiel
and the procurement of such items by other countries. END
NOTE). DiCarlo highlighted the role of the Islamic Republic
of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), which she said had been
involved in previous sanctions violations. Noting that this
was the third reported violation of UNSCR 1747 this year
involving arms being shipped from Iran to Syria, she
explained that the United States expects the Security
Council's Iran Sanctions Committee ("1737 Committee") to
investigate this information on an urgent basis and take
appropriate action. Due to the scope and serial nature of
these reports, she said, the matter is of grave concern to
the Council.

3. UK Deputy Perm Rep Parham also called the find a matter
of serious concern and said the 1737 Committee should
investigate this "pattern of violations." France Political
Counselor Bonne said the arms shipment would worsen tensions
in the region and highlighted the fact that it was not an
isolated incident. He pointed to IRISL's role in these
recent violations and noted that the 1737 Committee had
already called on states to exercise vigilance with respect
to IRISL. The Committee should do more, he said, than just
"write letters to which there are no replies."

4. Russian Deputy Perm Rep Dolgov said that the 1737
Committee should investigate, but noted that the foreign
ministers of Iran and Syria had both denied publicly these
allegations. He pointed to Israel's assertion that there was
a violation of UNSCR 1701's ban on transfers to non-state
actors in Lebanon and that this incident must be seen in its
proper context. He also suggested that the many letters
Lebanon has sent on alleged violations should also be
considered in that context. Chinese Deputy Perm Rep Liu and
Mexican Perm Rep Heller both said that the Council should not
discuss the matter until the Committee considers it.

5. Libyan counselor Gebreel claimed that Israel's letter was
part of a "systematic attempt" to divert attention from the
Goldstone Report, with the aim of encouraging the UN to turn
a blind eye to Israel's violations of international law.
Asserting that maritime authorities in the two ports involved
-- Damietta, Egypt and Latakia, Syria -- had denied that arms
were being shipped, he called Israel's boarding of the ship
to be an act of "piracy" and further alleged that Israel was
not within its rights to conduct the inspection.

6. Japanese Perm Rep Takasu, chair of the 1737 Committee,
said the Committee had a duty to deal with this issue. He
added that the Israel mission intended to send a formal
report to the Committee in the coming days. (NOTE: The
Israeli mission has told USUN that they plan to submit a
detailed report to the Committee sometime early the week of
November 9. END NOTE.)
Rice

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