US Marijuana Party

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Iran Stockpiling High-Tech Small Arms

Associated Press

VIENNA, Austria -- Iran is quietly building a stockpile of thousands of high-tech small arms and other military equipment -- from armor-piercing snipers' rifles to night-vision goggles -- through legal weapons deals and a U.N. anti-drug program, according to an internal U.N. document, arms dealers and Western diplomats.

The buying spree is raising Bush administration fears the arms could end up with militants in Iraq. Tehran also is seeking approval for a U.N.-funded satellite network that Iran says it needs to fight drug smugglers, stoking U.S. worries it could be used to spy on Americans in Iraq or Afghanistan -- or any U.S. reconnaissance in Iran itself.

Iran says it needs the satellite network, high-tech small arms bought on the European arms market and night-vision goggles, body armor and advanced communications gear through the U.N program to fight drug smugglers pouring in from neighboring Afghanistan.


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