U.N. experts trace recent seized arms to Iran, violating embargo

U.N. experts trace recent seized arms to Iran, violating embargo

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A U.N. expert panel has concluded that a shipment of rockets and other weapons that was seized by Israel came from Iran and represents a violation of the U.N. arms embargo on Tehran, according to a confidential report obtained by Reuters on Friday.

The finding comes just days ahead of the next round of negotiations in Vienna between Iran and six world powers aimed at securing a deal that would gradually lift international sanctions on Tehran — including the arms embargo — in exchange for curbs on the controversial Iranian nuclear program.

Despite Israel’s public statements that the seized arms were destined for Gaza — an allegation that Gaza’s governing Islamist militant group Hamas dismissed as a fabrication — the experts said the weapons were being sent to Sudan.

The experts do not speculate in the report about why the arms were being sent to Sudan, a country which Western diplomatic and intelligence sources have told Reuters has in the past been a conduit for Iranian arms shipments to other locations in Africa, as well as the Gaza Strip.

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