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May 3, 2012 10:00 am

Syria and Iran Import Weapons In Defiance of International Embargoes

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Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (left) with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (right). Photo: wiki commons.

More than $2.2 billion worth of arms and ammunition have been imported since 2000 by countries operating under arms embargoes, according to new figures released Thursday by international humanitarian agency Oxfam.

The figures are contained in a new report, “The Devil is in the Detail,” showing the extent to which states have been flagrantly flouting the 26 U.N., regional or multilateral arms embargoes in place during this period.

Regarding the ongoing flow of weapons into Syria, the report says the country in 2010 imported $167 million worth of air defense systems and missiles as well as $1 million worth of small arms and light weapons, ammunition and munitions. Some of these arms played a central role in the Syrian government’s crackdown on protesters, in which the U.N. estimates 8,000 people have been killed since last year.

Iran has breached embargoes and continued to trade weapons on a massive scale, according to the report, amounting to $574 million in such activity from 2007-2010.

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