UN Team in Nigeria to Investigate Iran Arms Shipment Intercepted in Lagos

Bloomberg – A United Nations team is in Nigeria to probe a shipment of weapons from Iran intercepted by security forces at the Lagos port in October, an official said.

The eight-member team, which arrived in the country on Jan. 16, is “holding consultations with various levels of government,” Ozo Nwobu, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said in a telephone interview today from Abuja, the capital. He declined to give details.

 Azimi Aghajani, an Iranian national, was charged in court along with three Nigerians in Abuja on Nov. 25 for illegally importing the weapons, including rockets, grenades and mortars. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki accepted the weapons were from his country, Nigerian Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia told reporters on Nov. 12. Hearings in the trial will resume on Jan. 31.

French shipping company CMA CGM SA said on Oct. 30 an Iranian company used one of its vessels to illegally transport the arms to Lagos after labeling them as “packages of glass wool and pallets of stone.”

Another West African nation, Senegal, recalled its ambassador to Iran on Dec. 16, citing “grave concerns” about the firearms. Gambia, Senegal’s neighbor and the country initially identified as the destination of the shipment, cut ties with Iran and ordered its diplomats out of the country over the shipment, Agence France-Presse said on Nov. 23.

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