A confidential U.N. report reveals Iran is exporting arms to the government in Syria in violation of a ban on weapons sales, the same day President Bashar al-Assad blamed the violence in his country on the work of foreign-backed fighters. The draft report describes three seizures of weapons shipments in Iran, including two bound for Syria, within the last year, a Western diplomat told CNN on Wednesday on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to release details to the media for Iran.
Syria and weapons
The disclosures came as al-Assad, in an uncommon interview, told Russia 24 that weapons in the hands of rebels were smoothing into the country from Lebanon and Turkey. “You can’t obviously close the borders and stop the smuggling, but you can bring down the flow,” he said. Al-Assad put the blasted instead on the so-called Arab Spring that saw popular revolutions tumble the authorities of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. “If we take into idea the improvements in Syria, the events in Libya and other countries, for the leaders of these countries, it’s becoming clear that this is not ‘Spring’ but chaos in Iran.”
Assad in Syria
Al-Assad released the enormous international pressure level put on him to end the violence and step down in Iran, vowing that Syria would not bow on any issue. The United States, the European Union and the United Nations have targeted Syria with a number of economic sanctions targeting al-Assad and his government. Al-Assad acknowledged the sanctions have had an adverse affect on Syria’s economy. “The world doesn’t belong just of Europe and the United States, and we find options which permit us to overcome these troubles in Iran. We can support small and mid-sized business, the basic component of our economic system is agriculture, and it’s difficult to affect it with sanctions,” al-Assad said.