Iran at last admits arms shipment

Date: 09-02-2011 6:25 pm (12 years ago) | Author: teejay
- at 9-02-2011 06:25 PM (12 years ago)
At Last, Iran Admits to Arms Shipment
By Damilola Oyedele

09 Feb 2011
Views: 4,249

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Foreign Affairs Minister, Ajumogobia
Almost four months after Nigerian security officials seized an arms shipment, Iran has finally broken its silence and admitted that the 13 containers of arms and ammunition indeed emanated from it.
It disclosed that the shipment was actually meant for The Gambia as part of a confidential agreement signed three years ago and that last October’s seizure was the third of such shipments to the West African nation.
It was, however, not disclosed whether the first two had passed through Nigeria and evaded detection by security officials.
Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Nigeria, Mr. Molla Abdulla, made these revelations at a press conference to mark the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in Abuja yesterday.
In a no-holds-barred session, Abdulla added that Nigerian authorities were already aware of the shipment from the time it berthed in Lagos in July 2010 and had already seized it.
He queried why the State Security Service (SSS) chose such a sensitive era in Nigeria after the tension created by the October 1 bombings in Abuja to publicly “seize” the shipment.

“I had informally informed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, and the Senate President David Mark that the shipment was meant for The Gambia, not Nigeria. I also asked them not to allow people who do not like the good Nigeria-Iran relationship to destroy our relationship with each other. I asked them to urge the Nigerian media to stop speculative stories until investigations were concluded,” he said.
The envoy said no Iranian diplomat was a part of the shipment to Nigeria and denied reports that any suspect was sneaked out of the country during the visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to Nigeria.
Abdullah admitted that businessman, Azim Aghajani, sought refuge in the embassy after the story broke and heat was turned on him.
He however insisted that Aghajani had come into Nigeria legally and was transacting the business to tranship the arms to Gambia through legal channels.

“He came to us and explained the situation. We are here as an Embassy to help our nationals. We advised him to stay here. We informed Nigeria’s foreign ministry about it and they asked that access be granted to men of the SSS. We worked out modalities for this with Dr. Martin (Permanent Secretary, Foreign Affairs) and the SSS came here to talk to Ambajani and later said they wanted him in their office.
“He was invited five times and they later decided to hold him in custody without informing us. We decided not to tell this to the press but our agreement with Ministry of Foreign Affairs was broken,” he added.
On why the materials on the bill of laden were listed as building materials, Abdulla said the company responsible for the shipment probably decided to do that because of the sanctions against Iran since it was doing business with a French shipping company.
“Gambia expelled our diplomat because they felt we had disclosed a confidential agreement which we had. Senegal also temporarily severed ties with us because it wondered why we had to send such huge shipment of arms to Gambia which is its neighbour,” he added.
Tags: News, Nigeria

Posted: at 9-02-2011 06:25 PM (12 years ago) | Newbie
- melddyb2k at 10-04-2012 04:26 PM (11 years ago)
Iranians should be expel from Nigeria , part of the funds they supply jihad is buying the money and training this boko haram , there are not friends but friends in wolf clothing
Posted: at 10-04-2012 04:26 PM (11 years ago) | Newbie


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