UNITED NATIONS: Somalia’s foreign minister urged the U.N. Security Council yesterday to lift the 20-year-old arms embargo on the country so that its armed forces can fight off al-Qaida linked militants and consolidate peace.
The foreign minister addressed the council amid allegations that Iran and Yemen have supplied weapons to the Somali militant group al-Shabab. Iran rejected those allegations as an ‘absurd fabrication.’
A report by a U.N.-appointed committee monitoring sanctions against Somalia and Eritrea report links Iran and Yemen to the supply of weapons to al-Shabab, according to a U.N. diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been made public.
Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee, in a letter to the Security Council obtained yesterday by The Associated Press, said the allegations were part of a ‘malicious campaign.’
He said the monitoring group put forward ‘unfounded allegations and strange fabrications’ without first informing the Iranian government and said the contents were leaked ‘for propaganda purposes.’