неделя, 12 декември 2010 г.

Wikileaks: България продава оръжие на Иран, Ирак, Йемен и Южен Судан

Оригиналната публикация на в.Guardian от 6 декември на данни, предоставени от Wikileaks:

Wikileaks cables: US fights flow of arms from eastern Europe to its enemies

US warning to former Soviet states fails to stem flow of weapons to Middle East regimes and Islamist groups

Robert Booth
Monday 6 December 2010 21.58 GMT

The US is fighting a constant battle to stem the flow of arms from eastern Europe to terrorist groups and unstable regimes in the Middle East, US embassy cables leaked tonight revealed.

US officials are shown attempting to intervene in more than a dozen international arms deals which involved countries including Ukraine, Bulgaria, Armenia and China selling weapons to customers in Iran, Iraq, Yemen and south Sudan.

The secret WikiLeaks documents record American officials confronting Washington's growing concern at arms proliferation in the Middle East in often frank exchanges with governments in the former Soviet states.

In one deal detailed in the cables late last year, Yemen's defence ministry bought $100m of weapons – including heavy artillery ammunition, sniper rifles, anti-aircraft guns and howitzers – from the front company of an illicit Serbian arms dealer last December.

The Cyprus-based company is linked to Slobodan Tesic, a Serbian named on the United Nations security council's travel ban list, according to the cable from the US embassy in Sana'a reported in December 2009.

US diplomats also reported intelligence that Yemen was pursuing further arms deals with eastern European countries for $30m to $55m each, sparking fears in Washington the weapons may be diverted to Yemen's black market, which is thought to help arm Hamas's fight against Israel and may further destabilise a country fast becoming al-Qaida's new stronghold.

In January this year the US embassy in Sofia warned the Bulgarian government against approving a deal allegedly financed by the United Arab Emirates to send 30,000 assault rifles, 100,000 high-explosive charges, rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition to Yemen from the Bulgarian arms manufacturer Arsenal.

Reacting to intelligence of Yemen's arms negotiations with eastern European manufacturers, the US embassy in Sana'a reported: "It is currently unclear if the Yemeni government is merely shopping around, or if the country is actually attempting to purchase several hundred million dollars in small arms for use against Houthi rebels. If the latter is true, we have concerns about stockpile security and the potential for these weapons to be diverted to Yemen's robust black market."

The cables show the US military requested access to Yemeni airspace to mount surveillance operations against arms smugglers using small sailing boats to ship weapons across the Red Sea to Sudan and then overland to Hamas in the Palestinian territories.

"These shipments usually transit in small groups of flagged and unflagged dhows that use territorial waters, busy harbours, and mangroves to mask their routes and increase their likelihood of evading interception by US or other forces," the cable said. "The vessels are met either on shore or a short distance off the coast. Once landed, we assess that the goods are transported north by car through Sudan."

There was further concern about Bulgaria's role in 2008 when the secretary of state at the time, Condoleezza Rice, ordered diplomats in nearby Armenia to complain about an arms shipment originating from Bulgaria that was used in lethal attacks against US forces in Iraq.

US diplomats rebuked the Armenian defence minister for personally facilitating the sale of 100 Bulgarian-made RPG-22 anti-tank rockets and machine guns to Iran, almost 10% of which were recovered from Shia militants in Iraq and were used in lethal attacks on US forces in 2008. Despite assurances from the Armenian government that the Bulgarian weapons would be used only in Armenia, US forces in Iraq recovered two of the weapons whose serial numbers matched those originally sold to Armenia.

"The US does not tolerate its friends serving as an illicit conduit for Iranian arms procurement, especially when it has been well documented that Iran, a state sponsor if terrorism, has armed Shia militants in Iraq and Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon," diplomats told their Armenian counterparts, before threatening to impose US sanctions. Rice also ordered US diplomats in Beijing to complain to China about Chinese arms sold to Iran used by Shia militias fighting US forces in Iraq.

"We have demarched [complained to] China repeatedly on its conventional arms transfers to Iran, urging Beijing to stop these transfers due to unacceptably high risk that such weapons would be diverted to militants and terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere," said the May 2008 cable.

It reportedly told Chinese officials: "We know that Iran has provided Chinese weapons to extremist groups in Iraq and Afghanistan that are using these weapons to kill Americans and Iraqis, something we take very seriously."

In November 2009, during US-Ukraine non-proliferation talks in Kiev, the US deputy assistant secretary of state, Vann Van Diepen, complained about the sale of potential ballistic missile parts to Iran and rebuked the country over evidence that in mid-August 2009 Ukrainian firm Ukrspetsexport shipped a cargo of armoured personnel carrier components, automatic grenade launchers, anti-tank guided missiles, and tank machine guns to Burma.

Van Diepen said the deal came despite assurances made to the US government that there would be no further arms exports to the repressive military dictatorship after 2008.He also confronted the Ukranian officials with evidence they had sold tanks to South Sudan, despite assurances to the contrary.

"Van Diepen showed the Ukrainians cleared satellite imagery of T-72 tanks unloaded in Kenya, transferred to railyards for onward shipment, and finally in South Sudan," the embassy reported. "This led to a commotion on the Ukrainian side."

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

Следва: Българските оръжейни продажби за Йемен

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