UN probing Turkish shipment of Israeli-made equipment to Iran — report

UN probing Turkish shipment of Israeli-made equipment to Iran — report

Jerusalem-based electronics maker says Turkish firm ‘deceived’ it by sending electronic parts to Islamic Republic in violation of Security Council sanctions

Illustrative: Electronic capacitors. (Eric Schrader/Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA-2.0)
Illustrative: Electronic capacitors. (Eric Schrader/Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA-2.0)

The United Nations is reportedly investigating a shipment of electronic components from Turkey to Iran last year in violation of international sanctions, and has asked for Israel’s cooperation since the products were manufactured in Jerusalem.

The case began in July 2017, when inspectors in the United Arab Emirates checked an Iran-bound shipment and found the electronic parts, which are banned from being exported to Iran under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, advanced as part of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Thursday.

The UN was said to find that the electronic parts were made by Celem Power Capacitors, an Israeli firm based in Jerusalem. The UN Secretariat — the body responsible for investigating breaches of Security Council resolutions — subsequently wrote to the Israeli government, asking it to provide “relevant information” on the subject.

Celem Power Capacitors, one of Israel’s largest manufacturers of electronic capacitors, was shocked to receive the UN request, the newspaper report said.

The company said it had no idea its products would be sent to Iran, saying it had been “deceived” by the Turkish firm to which it made the delivery.

“We will cooperate with any investigation,” the Israeli company was quoted as saying. “We will prove that we sold it to Turkey, to an established firm. We don’t sell to enemy countries. Most of our sales are to Europe and the US, but Turkey is not an enemy country and there is no obstacle to trading with it.”

“In any case, if the shipment did get to Iran, it means the buyer deceived us,” the supplier concluded.

The report came amid heightened tensions between Jerusalem and Ankara.

President of Turkey and the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during the AK Party’s parliamentary group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara on May 8, 2018. (AFP/Adem Altan)

Israel and Turkey are involved in an ongoing tit-for-tat dispute over Israel’s response to Monday’s violent protests at the Gaza border.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 62 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 more injured in clashes this week.

The IDF said Tuesday that at least 24 of the dead were members of terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Those two terror groups subsequently acknowledged 53 of their members were among the dead. Israel claims that Hamas is spurring the violence and using it as cover for attacks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan placed the blame for the deaths squarely on Israel, accusing it of being a “terrorist state” that commits “genocide.” Turkey recalled its ambassador in Tel Aviv and expelled Israel’s envoys to Ankara and Istanbul.

Israel responded in kind, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying Erdogan “well understands terrorism and slaughter” and should not preach to Israel over military ethics.

Israel expelled Turkey’s consul-general in Jerusalem and, on Wednesday, summoned the country’s deputy ambassador in Tel Aviv for a dressing down.

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