Iran is claiming there was a “misunderstanding” when its arms, mislabeled as “building supplies,” were seized last month at a Nigerian port.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters Monday that the issue of the arms shipment, intercepted by Nigerian authorities last month at a Lagos port, had been addressed.
The artillery rockets and other ordnance were packed into shipping containers labeled as building supplies. “I think the misunderstandings have been settled in this field,” Mottaki told the Iranian state news agency IRNA. He added that the Iranian ambassador to Nigeria, Hussein Abdullahi, had been replaced, but did not specifically say the move was connected to the arms incident.
According to the Associated Press, there were concerns that the arms were headed for Nigerian politicians who intended to respond with violence if they lost in upcoming elections.
Nigerian officials said last week if an investigation proved Iran had violated United Nations sanctions and international law, the African nation would consider reporting the Islamic Republic to the U.N.
The sanctions were imposed by the U.N. Security Council in response to ongoing defiance of a ban on Iran’s uranium enrichment and other nuclear development activities. They include a ban on Iranian arms exports, both direct and indirect, as well as a ban on transfers of weapons from Iran to citizens of other nations.