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British Dealers Arming Iran Raises Questions

April 23, 2008 (EIRNS)—British officials claim they are "perturbed" by a phalanx of British arms dealers who are involved in trading with Tehran, despite a third round of restrictions recently imposed by the UN on exporting arms and components to Iran.

Among the examples uncovered is the case of a London businessman, Mehrdad Salashoor, caught shipping hi-tech navigation equipment adaptable for missile guidance systems to the Iranian air force and navy. Salashoor, reportedly asked British authorities about the licenses required to export 11 'gyrocompass' devices worth £650,000 to Azerbaijan. He was informed that he would require a special export license. Salashoor went ahead and sent the consignment without license to Malta with shipping instructions to forward the load to an Iranian company that turned out to be the Iranian Ministry of Defense.

Another Briton, millionaire John Knight, one of Britain's most experienced arms dealers, was caught trading machine-guns used by the SAS and capable of firing 800 rounds a minute with a Tehran-based weapons supplier. He has also been jailed for four years. The deal was to be traded through an offshore company, Endeavor Resources, based in the British Virgin Islands.

Customs officers are reportedly working on a number of "active investigations" which include several Britons and breach sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's military strength.

These reports indicate that the British are involved in not only keeping Iran's image as a hostile nation alive, but also are trying to draw the United States in for a strike against Tehran. In many countries, particularly in Britain, arms dealers are under the control of intelligence services and they cannot function without the tacit approval of the HQ.