Nigeria: At Last, Iran Admits to Arms Shipment
allafrica / Damilola Oyedele

Almost four months after Nigerian security officials seized an arms shipment, Iran has finally broken its silence and admitted that the 13 containers of arms and ammunition indeed emanated from it.

It disclosed that the shipment was actually meant for The Gambia as part of a confidential agreement signed three years ago and that last October's seizure was the third of such shipments to the West African nation. It was, however, not disclosed whether the first two had passed through Nigeria and evaded detection by security officials.

Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Nigeria, Mr. Molla Abdulla, made these revelations at a press conference to mark the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in Abuja yesterday. In a no-holds-barred session, Abdulla added that Nigerian authorities were already aware of the shipment from the time it berthed in Lagos in July 2010 and had already seized it.

He queried why the State Security Service (SSS) chose such a sensitive era in Nigeria after the tension created by the October 1 bombings in Abuja to publicly "seize" the shipment.

"I had informally informed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, and the Senate President David Mark that the shipment was meant for The Gambia, not Nigeria. I also asked them not to allow people who do not like the good Nigeria-Iran relationship to destroy our relationship with each other. I asked them to urge the Nigerian media to stop speculativ... >>>

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