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Nigeria reports Iran arms seizure to UN Security council

By Whitney Hurst, CNN
  • 13 containers holding illegal weapons from Iran were seized in Lagos, Nigeria says
  • The foreign minister says the seizure has been reported to the U.N. Security Council
  • One person, an Iranian national, being question in connection with arms shipment

United Nations (CNN) -- The seizure in Nigeria of a shipment of arms from Iran, has been reported to the United Nations Security Council, Nigerian Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia said Tuesday.

Ajumogobia said the issue would be reviewed by a U.N. sanctions committee that was appointed by the Security Council to monitor the Iranian sanctions regime. U.N. Security Council resolutions prevent Iran from sending weapons abroad.

The 13 containers seized in Lagos held illegal weapons, including rockets, according to Nigeria's security service.

Iran's state-run Press TV quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying, "A private company which had sold conventional and defensive weapons to a West African country had transferred the shipment through Nigeria."

Ajumogobia said the shipment was still being investigated, adding that the original bill of lading was destined for Nigeria but another bill of lading destined for Gambia later surfaced. Ajumogobia and Mottaki met recently, and Mottaki pledged cooperation with the investigation.

One person, an Iranian national was being held in the Nigerian capital of Abuja in connection with the arms shipment, according to Ajumogobia. "He's being interrogated as we speak by the security agents to find out more," Ajumogobia said, adding that "he's been cooperating with the security agents."

Ajumogobia said his government would submit a more detailed report to the sanctions committee upon his return to Nigeria.