Iraq cannot stop Iran arms transfer to Syria: FM



Agence France Presse

Published — Saturday 13 July 2013

Last update 14 July 2013 9:37 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

DUBAI: Iraq lacks the means to stop Iranian arms deliveries to Syria through its airspace, if there are any, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in comments published on Saturday.
“Last September we started to inspect Iranian and Syrian planes at random. We have found non-lethal materials, like equipment, medicine and food,” Zebari said in an interview published by the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
“In all honesty, those planes might be carrying other stuff, but we have neither the deterrent means, nor the air defenses and fighter jets to prevent... arms shipments,” he told the pan-Arab daily.
Zebari said he had urged Western governments to take action themselves if they were convinced that Iran was smuggling weapons to its Syrian ally.
“I told the West: If you want to stop Iran’s air bridge to Syria over Iraq, go ahead.”
Zebari said Western governments were convinced such an air bridge existed and that his response was: “This does not have my consent, and I do not have the means to prevent it.”
He said the Shiite-led government in Baghdad had urged Tehran “not to use relations with (Iraq) to send arms to others.”
“We reject and condemn the shipping of arms through our airspace, and we will tell the Iranian side of that officially, but we cannot stop it,” Zebari said.
The conflict in Syria has become increasingly sectarian as it has entered its third year, with the mainly Sunni rebels receiving support from the Gulf Arab monarchies, and the Damascus regime getting backing from Shiite Iran.
Zebari, himself a Sunni Kurd, said last month that he could not deny that Iraqi Shiites were fighting in Syria alongside the forces of President Bashar Assad, whose Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
But he stressed that their involvement in the conflict “does not come under government policy.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al Hamzi, director general of prisons, has sacked Brig. Ahmad Al Shahrani, director of Jeddah prisons, after the case of a video clip about prisoners taking heroin went viral, according to local media.Quoting informed source...
RIYADH: Plans are underway to shift the labor dispute commission in the Ministry of Labor to the Ministry of Justice. Related discussions were held here Thursday between Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani and Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani.The disc...
JEDDAH: Drifting has taken a heavy toll of young men who spent their time and energy in the pursuit of this dangerous game for lack of family awareness and guidance.Observers said that the last decade witnessed a dramatic increase in traffic accident...
RIYADH: A mass brawl between migrant workers at a company along Al-Thumama Road broke out in Riyadh on Thursday, causing the death of one worker and the burning of two police vehicles.A Riyadh police source said authorities received a report on Thurs...
JEDDAH: Thousands of expatriates living in Jeddah, who are non-Arabic speakers, were excited about the monthlong 36th Jeddah Festival.The Jeddah and summer festivals this year had a number of theatrical events, entertainment programs, fireworks, arti...
MADINAH: In a tragic Madinah incident, two children died and a woman was injured in a fire which broke out in a house.Capt. Naif bin Mohammad Al-Juhani, spokesman for Civil Defense, said the control room received information about the fire incident i...
JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco said it has financed building 63,000 houses for Saudis through the citizen house owning program implemented by the company. The company said it has granted 1,037 loans to Saudis to build new houses in 2014, stressing that this pr...
RIYADH: A special team of officials from the Ministry of Health, led by Deputy Minister Hamad Aldhwilaa, visited hospitals in the southern border area to ensure that services are available to serve patients in the Asir, Jazan and Najran regions.On ar...
DAMMAM: On April 30 1935, drilling started on test well No. 1 in Dammam. After seven months, only gas was found with traces of oil at a depth of 700 meters. So it had to be plugged. Drilling began on Dammam well No. 2 on Feb. 8, 1936, and started pro...
JEDDAH: A team of doctors at King Abdul Aziz Hospital carried out emergency life-saving surgery on a Kazakh pilgrim who was suffering from a rare disease, on the night of Eid Al-Fitr, according to a website.The 17-year-old Kazakh pilgrim was brought...
JEDDAH: Members of sector committees affiliated with the Council of Saudi Chambers have tried to reach a settlement with the Ministry of Labor that would allow laborers to work on their projects during the day.The attempt was made based on an agreeme...
JEDDAH: The increase in school fees has caused parents to remove their children from private schools and enroll them in public schools in Madinah.With the approaching new school year, many parents were surprised to find that school fees were increase...
RIYADH: The size of the tourism industry has crossed the SR100-million mark with around 130 organizations in the field and the revenues generated through festivals are approximately SR11 billion annually, experts have said. The figures have been prov...
JEDDAH: A total of 105 pay-and-park areas have been opened in the city, including Jeddah historical district, downtown market place, Bab Makkah, Al Andalus Street and Palestine Street.Hani Ahmad Abdullah, media spokesperson for Jeddah Municipality, s...
RIYADH: Moroccan Ambassador Abdussalam Baraka has praised “excellent” trade and bilateral relations between his country and Saudi Arabia and expected the ties to grow further.Speaking on the occasion of Morocco’s National Day on Thursday night, the e...

Stay Connected

Facebook