Ukrainian authorities have confirmed that they seized a shipment of missile system components bound for Iran, according to official statements that could put the Islamic Republic in violation of international bans on such behavior.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, or DPSU, announced late last week that it had seized at least 17 boxes filled with missile components bound for Iran, according to IHS Jane’s.
“The DPSU said that, during an inspection of the aircraft on 19 January, its personnel had found 17 boxes with no accompanying documents, which the aircraft’s crew said contained an aircraft repair kit,” according to the report. “Three boxes contained components that were believed to be for a Fagot anti-tank guided missile system, the rest contained aircraft parts.”
Days after this finding, the DPSU said that it had confirmed the missile components were destined for Iran’s Fagot system.
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, said that Iran has been illicitly moving such weapons for quite some time.
“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.”