UNITED NATIONS - Iran appears to be supplying Syria with weapons, the United Nations said on Wednesday, as the 17-month conflict that began as a popular uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad slides deeper into civil war.
The UN accusation backs charges by Western officials that Iran is providing funds, weapons and intelligence support to Assad in his bid to crush the opposition. Syrian rebels also say Tehran has sent Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah fighters.
"The Secretary-General has repeatedly expressed his concern about the arms flows to the two parties in Syria, which in some cases appear to violate resolution 1747 passed by this council banning arms exports under Chapter 7 authority," UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman told the UN Security Council.
Resolution 1747 bans arms exports by Iran under Chapter 7 of the UN charter, which allows the Security Council to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.
The resolution was passed in response to Iran's defiance of UN demands that it halt its nuclear enrichment program. Iran rejects allegations by Western nations and their allies that it is developing nuclear weapons.