Iran So Far Away...

So, what's the deal with Iran? Seriously.

Among other things - threatening Israel, meddling in Lebanon and Iraq, building a "peaceful" nuclear program - it seems that Iran has been shipping arms to Somalia. That's right, Somalia.

I'm sure the Somalis can do enough damage without Iran's help.

The following is from the BBC.

Powers 'stoking Somali conflict'
By Laura Travelyan
BBC News, UN headquarters, New Yor

Islamist militias control most of Somalia
Iran, Syria and eight other countries are violating a United Nations arms embargo to send weapons to Somalia, according to a UN-commissioned report.

It says Tehran and Damascus have links with the Union of Islamic Courts, a militia that controls much of Somalia.

The report, by experts monitoring the embargo, suggests that Iran may have tried to trade arms for uranium to further its nuclear ambitions.

Many of the countries named in the report reject the accusations.

Somalia has not had a proper government for more than 15 years.

The report says 10 countries are ignoring the arms ban. Ethiopia and Eritrea are named as the biggest violators.

Ethiopia is accused of sending weapons to the fragile government while Eritrea backs the Islamic opposition.


What is most striking about this report is the detailed links between countries such as Iran, Syria and Lebanon and the Islamic Courts Union.

For example, the authors say 720 Somali fighters went to Lebanon to help Hezbollah fight Israel in July.

Syria is said to have sent an aircraft full of guns to the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Iran is reported to have sent three shipments of arms to Somalia between July and September.

And one paragraph in the report says two Iranians were in Somalia looking into getting uranium in exchange for supplying arms.

No further details are offered. Iran wants uranium to further its nuclear programme, which it insists is peaceful, while western countries suspect Iran of wanting a nuclear bomb.

The UN Security Council is due to discuss the findings next week.

It seems to me that anyone looking for well-paying jobs with the US government should start brushing up on their Farsi.

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