The United Kingdom has submitted evidence to the UN showing that the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) is violating Security Council resolutions.
According to a statement by the UK Ministry of Defense on Monday, weapons seized by Royal Navy ship HMS Montrose, which have been presented to the UN as evidence, proved the IRGC is smuggling weapons in violation of a UN Security Council resolution, indicating that the UK is turning the screws on the Islamic Republic.
“On two occasions in early 2022, HMS Montrose seized Iranian weapons from speedboats operated by smugglers in international waters south of Iran,” the statement said, adding that “the items included surface-to-air-missiles and engines for land attack cruise missiles, in contravention of UN Security Council Resolutions 2231 and 2140,” approved in 2015.
The defense ministry also said that “The weapons were presented to representatives of the United Nations who provide an assessment of the conflict in Yemen and Iranian nuclear activity.” “The interdictions were referred to in the Secretary General’s UNSCR 2231 report published in December 2022 and are expected to feature in the UNSCR 2140 annual report that will shortly be released.”
In reference to the evidence, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that London is committed to upholding international law and will continue to counter Iranian activity that contravenes UNSC resolutions and “threatens peace across the world.” That is why the UK has a permanent Royal Navy deployment in the Persian Gulf region, conducting vital maritime security operations and working in support of peace in Yemen, he added. The Royal Navy has a permanent deployment of a Type 23 Frigate, equipped with a Royal Marine boarding party and a Wildcat helicopter to support maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman.
A key piece of evidence presented by the UK was a commercial quadcopter drone designed for reconnaissance activities. According to the statement, “By decrypting the internal memory of the uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) controllers, the UK Ministry of Defense discovered the records of 22 test flights conducted at the IRGC Aerospace Force Headquarters and test facility in western Tehran." The Islamic Republic failed to delete flight logs from a drone on its way to Yemen.
Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said, “Once again, the Iranian regime has been exposed for its reckless proliferation of weapons and destabilizing activity in the region.”
Iran’s sustained military support to the Houthis and continued violation of the arms embargo has stoked further conflict and undermined UN-led peace efforts, the official added, noting that “The UK will continue to act to protect the security of our partners and hold Iran to account.”
“The UAV was in the same shipment as a number of Surface to Air Missiles and components for the Iranian Project 351 land attack cruise missile. This evidence indicated a direct link between the Iranian state and the smuggling of missile systems being used by the Houthis to attack the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” read the statement.
The word 'Netherlands' was spelt 'Nether1ands' on part of a missile engine
The Iranian regime has been arming, training and supporting Houthi forces since at least 2015. Previous weapons and missiles used by the Yemeni rebel force were examined by UN experts before and found to have Iranian origin.
The UK defense ministry added that “The threat posed by long range weapons made in Iran is not limited to the Middle East. Since the invasion of Ukraine, Iran has supplied hundreds of Shahed one way attack drones to Russia; these transfers violate UNSCR 2231. These attacks have killed civilians and damaged critical national infrastructure (such as power substations) far from the front lines of the conflict.
The British government also revealed that a typo in the word "Netherlands" helped expose illegal Iranian weapons shipments to Yemen. The word was spelt "Nether1ands" on part of a missile engine, in what defense officials believe was a clumsy attempt by Iran to pretend the component was Dutch. The word "version" was also misspelt as "verslon" in one of the missile parts seized by Britain's Royal Navy last year.
Such evidence can be used in case of snapback at the UN Security Council. In December, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom met to argue that Russia and Iran are violating UN Security Council Resolution 2231 by Tehran sending military drones to Moscow