Senegal Severs Diplomatic Ties With Iran Over Rebel Weapons


Senegal said Wednesday it has severed diplomatic ties with Iran, accusing Tehran of supplying weapons to anti-government rebels.

A spokesman for Senegal’s foreign ministry says Iranian weapons were used in Sunday’s attack by rebels of the Democratic Forces of Casamance that killed three Senegalese soldiers and wounded several others.

The spokesman says Senegal is outraged Iranian weapons brought about the death of Senegalese soldiers.

Senegal and Iran had enjoyed strong diplomatic ties until October when 13 containers loaded with weapons from Iran were seized at the Nigerian port of Lagos.

Tehran said the arms were bound for a state in West Africa, later revealed to be Senegal’s neighbor Gambia.

Senegalese analysts suggest the weapons may have been destined for separatist rebels operating in Senegal’s southern Casamance region.

Gambia broke off diplomatic ties with Iran following news of the shipment.

Sanctions passed by the U.N. Security Council prohibit Iran from exporting weapons to other countries.

The sanctions were adopted because of Iran’s nuclear program. The United States and other countries accuse Iran of trying to acquire nuclear weapons — a charge Tehran denies.


The VOA is the Voice of America

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