Ukrainian authorities announced on Friday that they seized a shipment of missile system components that were bound for Iran, in violation of an arms embargo against the Islamic Republic.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine said that the parts were found on an Iran-bound flight at Kiev’s Zulyany airport, Jane’s Defence Weekly reported.
An inspection of the cargo on the flight uncovered 17 boxes with no corresponding documentation. While the flight crew said that the boxes contained aircraft parts, three of the packages held parts believed to be for a Fagot anti-tank guided missile system. On Sunday, the Ukrainian state border guards confirmed that the parts were for the Fagot missile system.
While most United Nations sanctions were lifted from Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal, the country is still subject to an international arms embargo and other restrictions.
Michael Rubin, a former defense department official, told the Washington Free Beacon on Monday that Iran has been caught smuggling illicit missile technology multiple times. “This isn’t the first time Iran has gotten caught red handed smuggling weapons with false manifests, for example, in 2010 in Nigeria,” Rubin said. “The question is how often does Iran get away with such smuggling and for what purpose? After all, if the weaponry is legal, there’s no reason for lying. If it’s not, Iran is violating international agreements. Either way, only fools and secretaries of state would trust Iran to uphold its agreements.”
Last month, then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon submitted a confidential report to the UN Security Council alleging that Iran may have violated the arms embargo by smuggling weapons to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.
The report was a follow-up to one Ban submitted to the Security Council in July, when he charged that Iran had tested ballistic missiles in March, which was “not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the nuclear deal.