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    Missiles are on display during a parade marking National Army Day at the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

    Western Intel Suspects Iran Smuggling Arms to Lebanon by Air - Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Western intelligence services suspect an Iranian civil aviation company of smuggling arms into Lebanon for the Hezbollah Shiite movement as a number of unexpected routes by Iranian cargo aircraft have been registered over the past several months, Fox News reported on Tuesday, citing intelligence sources.

    "The Iranians are trying to come up with new ways and routes to smuggle weapons from Iran to its allies in the Middle East, testing and defying the West’s abilities to track them down," an intelligence source told Fox News.

    According to the broadcaster, Western intelligence services believe that components for manufacturing precise weapons in Lebanon-based Iranian factories were on board the aircraft.

    READ MORE: Hezbollah Accuses Int'l Organizations of Intimidating Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

    Iran denies supplying weapons to Hezbollah, although Tehran continues to endorse the Lebanon-based Shi'a organization politically.

    Since July, Qeshm Fars Air planes have carried out at least two flights from an air force base in Tehran to Beirut using a rather "uncharacteristic flight path," according to the media report.

    On July 9, a Boeing 747 allegedly departed from Tehran, made a stop at the international airport in Damascus and then landed in Beirut, however, the route passed over northern Lebanon, which is not generally used by airliners.

    The second flight, which was direct from Tehran to Beirut, took place on August 2 and followed an unusual route north of Syria, Fox reported.

    In late May, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed 12 requirements Washington put forward for Tehran after President Donald Trump's decision to pull out from the Iran nuclear deal, which is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Pompeo demanded that Iran complied with the JCPOA provisions and changed its domestic and international policies. The secretary of state also said that the United States would deter Iran by all means, including military action, and pledged to find partners to implement its anti-Iran strategy. There was also a requirement to Iran to halt support of paramilitary groups in the region, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and withdraw all Iranian forces from conflict-torn Syria.


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