Iran shipped components of heavy weapons to Russia despite the UN Security Council sanctions. As Welt am Sonntag (the Sunday edition of Die Welt) reported with reference to sources in western intelligence agencies, the Iranian weaponry came to Russia through Syria.
According to the article, in June two Iranian planes landed at the air base in Khmeimim, Syria, where the Russian aviation forces are based. The planes brought heavy weaponry components for further transportation to Russia. The components were subsequently taken by trucks to the Tartus port on the Mediterranean Sea, the newspaper’s sources claim. The Iranian weaponry has already been taken from there to Novorossiysk on the Russian ship “Sparta III”.
In its official account on Twitter, Welt am Sonntag published a photo supposedly depicting the Iranian plane in Khmeimim. The photos date is not specified.
The newspaper writes that in this way Russia and Iran violated resolution No. 2231, ratified by the UN Security Council in 2015. The resolution prohibits the “shipment, sale or transfer of all kinds of military tanks, large caliber artillery systems, military planes, military helicopters, military ships, missiles or missile systems” without the UN Security Council’s consent. The ban also extends to the “construction and maintenance” of such weaponry. It does not indicate that specifically Iran could ship to Russia.
According to the VesselFinder service, which tracks the location of ships, the freight ship Sparta III left Tartus on August 5 and arrived in Novorossiysk on August 13.
Welt am Sonntag calls the shipment of weaponry through Syria “a new smuggling route” which could bring Russia and Iran closer together. The newspaper points out that last week Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced that Russia and Tehran had signed a “provisional agreement to improve military technological collaboration”. The agreement was a response to the new sanctions introduced by the US, the publication believes.
On August 5, a TASS news agency’s source acquainted with the Russian deputy prime minister’s plans in Iran reported that in Tehran Rogozin would meet with Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan to discuss matters “including those relating to new shipments of Russian weaponry”.