Members of the U.N. Security Council committee that monitors sanctions aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons said Tuesday they're pleased that more countries are reporting possible Iranian arms export violations.
Colombian Ambassador Nestor Osorio, who heads the committee, said in the group's quarterly report that such readiness to report possible violations in their territories "is positive and should be encouraged."
The U.N. sanctions against Iran ban arms exports as well as prohibit nuclear enrichment.
Sanctions committee members say little else has changed since their last report, with Iran still refusing to discuss any possible military use for its nuclear program. Iran says its program has only peaceful aims.
U.S. Deputy Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo told the group that recent reports of other potential violations, including Iran's possible export of weapons seized by Israel last week, "underline the continuing need for a high level of vigilance on the part of all member states."
Israel believes Iran was trying to send the weapons to Palestinian militants in Gaza the weapons. The shipment included sophisticated Chinese-made land-to-sea missiles that Israeli officials said could change the balance of power in the area.
DiCarlo also mentioned Nigeria's "excellent example of enforcing these measures" in recently seizing an Iranian shipment of arms and related materiel in the African country.
British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said his country is "extremely concerned" by reported violations of the arms export ban, noting that weapons recently seized in Afghanistan are believed to have been supplied by Iran.
"The detailed technical analysis, together with the circumstances of the seizure, leave no doubt that the weaponry came from Iran, despite the fact that they were crudely doctored" to mask their origin, Lyall Grant said.
On the issue of suspected nuclear proliferation, committee members noted that the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency reported earlier this month that it cannot guarantee that Iran is not trying to develop atomic arms.
Yukiya Amano, who heads the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in Vienna on March 7 that Iran may have worked on a nuclear arms program past 2004 and that the agency needs more openness from Iran to form a definite conclusion. Iran refuses to cooperate with the IAEA.