Skip to comments.British kit found in Hezbollah bunkers
Posted on 08/20/2006 4:36:17 PM PDT by Pokey78
AN URGENT investigation was launched last night after Israel accused Britain of indirectly supplying Hezbollah terrorists with military night-vision equipment that helped them to target Israeli soldiers in Lebanon.
The equipment was found by Israeli troops in Hezbollah command bunkers in southern Lebanon. Each set was stamped made in Britain.
The discovery led to a formal protest by the Israeli Government, after it was revealed that Britain had sold 250 night-vision systems to Iran in 2003 for use against drug smugglers.
Foreign Office officials said early indications seemed to suggest that the night-vision equipment found by the Israelis was not part of the batch sold in 2003 to Iran. However, thorough checks were being made to compare serial numbers on the equipment found in the Hezbollah bunkers with those on the ones exported legitimately to Iran.
The Iranians are the prime sponsor of Hezbollah, and the Israeli authorities are demanding to know whether the equipment sold to Iran three years ago ended up in the hands of Hezbollah, which killed 117 Israeli soldiers during the month-long clashes in Lebanon.
A Department of Trade and Industry official said night-vision equipment of military specification required an export licence. The investigation will look into whether any British company might have breached export regulations.
The batch of 250 night-vision systems were given a special export licence in 2003 because they were intended to be used by Iranian police trying to stem the flow of heroin and opium from Afghanistan into Iran. Although there is what amounts to an arms embargo against Iran, aimed principally at stopping the export of equipment that could benefit Tehrans suspected nuclear weapons programme, the request for night-vision equipment was approved in recognition of the counter-narcotics work.
When the export was agreed, Mike OBrien, then Junior Minister at the Foreign Office, told the Commons: The goods are for the use on the Iran-Afghanistan border against heroin smugglers. He said there was no risk of these goods being diverted for use by the Iranian military.
If any of the equipment has been diverted to Hezbollah, it would be a serious embarrassment for the Government. Hezbollahs external security, the military wing of the militant organisation, is proscribed as a terrorist group. The Government has also made clear its support for Israels struggle with Hezbollah and has approved the transit of bunker-busting bombs and missiles for the Israelis from the US through British airports.
Liam Fox, the Shadow Defence Secretary, said: If this turns out to be true, and Iran supplied backing for Hezbollah, it will have consequences for any future military exports to Iran. And it points the finger all the more strongly at Iranian involvement in destabilising the Middle East.
One set of the equipment was found by Israeli forces in the southern Lebanon village of Mis-a-Jebel on August 10, in a house belonging to a 60-year-old man whose four sons are all Hezbollah fighters.
One was described as a Thermo-vision 1000 LR system with a serial number 155010, part number 193960. Other equipment, including radios also thought to be British, and sophisticated recording and monitoring devices, were found.
Israeli commanders had complained that night-time operations in the border region had been hampered by the ability of Hezbollah fighters to observe and counter their moves. In more than six days of fighting around the village of Mis-a-Jebel, the Israelis lost six soldiers and 20 more were injured.
Lieutenant-Colonel Olivier Radowicz, an Israeli commander, said: The night-vision unit was used to observe the movement of troops. You can also record what you are watching. Then it is connected to a computer. You can obtain a perfect intelligence picture in real time. It is then connected to firing systems.
Somehow the Times has managed to avoid mentioning that this was for a U.N.-sponsored anti-drug program. I'm sure it was just an oversight.
I wonder how many anti-drug ground-to-air missiles were sold to Iran?
They lie like rugs......All of them......
The War On Drugs yields yet another HUGE dividend.
So, what you're saying is that muslims lie to infidels, right? If that don't just take the cake.
Typical of western nations. Sell arms to the enemy on the pretext they are going to be used for good.
Came from "Alphie's MOD Surplus & Second-Hand Store" in Liverpool.
Wonder how much Kofi and his Kids made on the deal?
How does this serve our national interests?
During the cold war the USSR helped such drugs get into our Republic for obvious reasons....
Of course not. When this equipment is misappropriated it knows it and magically turns itself off.
As far as lying and deception goes EVERYONE has been doing it for some mysterious reason when it comes to Iran and the mollacratic rule. At the time when the news of the sale of the night vision equipment was leaked out all dissident Iranians were outraged and pleaded with the british to stop their support and bolstering of this regime. But all they got was the same lies about "cooperation" only in the drug trafficing sphere, as though the british intelligence was not aware that elements of the regime itself were responsible for the drug transfers through Iran to the rest of the world, or that they did not guess that the regime would use these devices in reality against its own people who were marching and demonstrating for their rights throughout Iran at that time.
Besides doing other unseemly things, didn't Russia sell some kind of vision wear to Saddam before we invaded Iraq?
Yeah, western nations are terrible. Middle Eastern states are much more honorable.
Another great Ramirez offering!
Yes, but at least one can count on the Russian stuff to not work.