Iran imported weapons worth over $560 million over a three-year period despite being the target of a United Nations arms embargo, The Telegraph reported Thursday, citing data published the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
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Anna MacDonald, the Control Arms campaigns manager for Oxfam, was quoted by the British daily as saying that the Islamic Republic's success in tapping the international arms market showed the ineffectiveness of current restrictions.
"If you are an unscrupulous government, it's quite easy to find your way around them," she said.
Russia and China, the report said, who prevented the UN from imposing a comprehensive embargo, are thought to have been the principal suppliers of weapons to Iran between 2007 and 2010.
According to the report, Azerbaijan, which is subjected to an arms embargo by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has nonetheless been able to import arms worth over $720 million between 2000 and 2010, making it the biggest purchaser of weaponry by any nation under embargo.
In all, 10 countries subjected to arms embargoes still managed to buy arms worth over $2.2 billion between 2000 and 2010, The Telegraph reported.
According to the British daily, the UN is expected hold a conference to discuss the issue in July.
However, The Telegraph said, countries like Russia and China, which benefit greatly from arms exports, are "highly unlikely" to accept any international rules that would restrict this trade.