On September 4th, an Iranian civil aviation company supposedly came under suspicion for allegedly smuggling arms into Lebanon, for the Hezbollah group and for Iranian weapons factories, according to unnamed Western intelligence sources, cited by Fox News. According to the anonymous sources Iran is using unexpected routes to avoid detection.
The unnamed sources identified two rare and unusual Qeshm Fars Air flights from Tehran to the international airport in Beirut during the past two months. One Boeing 747 flight on July 9 made a stop in Damascus, Syria. The second flight on August 4, directly from Tehran to Beirut, but followed “a slightly irregular route north of Syria,” Fox news reported.
According to the sources, the commercial flights were believed to have carried components for the production of precise weapons in Iranian factories in Lebanon.
“The Iranians are trying to come up with new ways and routes to smuggle weapons from Iran to its allies in the Middle East, testing and defying the West’s abilities to track them down,” an unnamed regional intelligence officer was cited by Fox News.
i24News reported that the extraordinary effort was made in part to avoid detection by Israeli intelligence agencies; despite professing a policy of non-interference in Syria’s over six-year long civil war, Israel has reportedly carried out numerous air strikes on targets inside Syria over the last several years, chiefly targeting weapons and other supplies it considered destined for Hezbollah.
Many say that Hezbollah is the Israeli Military’s biggest enemy in the region. The movement supposedly has an arsenal of between 100,000 to 150,000 mortar shells, rockets, and missiles. According to Israeli and Western intelligence officials, Iran has assisted Hezbollah in developing precision-guided missiles.
On August 31st, it was reported by Reuters, citing unnamed Iranian, Iraqi and Western sources, that Iran has given ballistic missiles to Shiite proxies in Iraq and is developing the capacity to build more there “to deter attacks on its interests in the Middle East.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced his concerns caused by the rumor over twitter: “Deeply concerned about reports of #Iran transferring ballistic missiles into Iraq. If true, this would be a gross violation of Iraqi sovereignty and of UNSCR 2231. Baghdad should determine what happens in Iraq, not Tehran.”
Iraq’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that it was “astonished” at the Reuters report, saying that the claim Iran was moving missiles into Iraq was without any “tangible evidence.”
“Iraq is not obliged to respond to media reports that lack tangible evidence backing up their claims and allegations,” the ministry said in a statement on September 2nd, adding, “All state institutions in Iraq uphold Article 7 of the constitution, which prohibits the use of Iraqi land as a base or passage to be used in operations targeting the security of other states.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi on September 1st completely rejected the missile claim as “false, meaningless and ludicrous” the missile claim, saying it aimed to stoke Iranophobia in the region.
“What has been raised and published by some infamous cells and certain media about the transfer of Iranian missiles to Iraq is a nonsensical statement and sheer lie,” Qassemi said.
Iran has been lending military advisory support to Iraq and Syria as per requests by the two Arab countries’ governments.
As reported by PressTV, the Islamic Republic’s missile program and its regional presence has been the target of intensified Western propaganda over the past few months, as becomes apparent.