Iranian Guns and Western Flowers for Africa ………………


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“When the investigators’ breakthrough came, it carried a surprise. The manufacturer was not one of Africa’s usual suspects. It was Iran. Iran has a well-developed military manufacturing sector, but has not exported its weapons in quantities rivaling those of the heavyweights in the global arms trade, including the United States, Russia, China and several European countries. But its export choices in this case were significant. While small-arms ammunition attracts less attention than strategic weapons or arms that have drawn international condemnation, like land mines and cluster bombs, it is a basic ingredient of organized violence, and is involved each year and at each war in uncountable deaths and crimes………… Iran’s role in providing arms to allies and to those who fight its enemies has long been broadly understood. Some of these practices were most recently reported in the transfer of Fajr-5 ground-to-ground rockets to Gaza. Its expanding footprint of small-arms ammunition exports has pushed questions about its roles in a shadowy ammunition trade high onto the list of research priorities for trafficking investigators. “If you had asked me not too long ago what Iran’s role in small-arms ammunition trafficking to Africa had been, I would have said, ‘Not much,’ ”………………”

This is news only because for the past two centuries the West, mainly Europe, has considered Africa as its own turf. The private market and testing ground for its weapons. I have no doubt of the results if you survey all the weapon exports into Africa, and which weapons have killed the most people. Western weapons probably have killed more Africans in the past quarter century than any other source of weapons in the past thousand years. European weapons have probably killed more Africans during the past two or three centuries than any other weapons from any other source have done for the past five thousand years. (No mention of slavery is needed, that was long ago). Western and more recently Russian and Chinese, and perhaps a few others.
Suddenly the NY Times and one of its writers throws in Darfour and Iran in one sentence. I doubt that they flew Iranian warplanes over Darfour. Almost all the killing weapons originated from outside the Middle East. I also doubt that much of the bullets or machetes used to massacre civilians were made anywhere in the Middle East. The killing fields from Rwanda to Liberia to Sierra Leone to the Congo and the rest of the African tragedies were nourished by weapons from the West (mainly) and then Russia and China and maybe a couple of other sources.
No doubt the Iranians supply some weapons to their allies in Africa, some of them unsavory repressive allies. No doubt these pale compared to the other sources I mentioned. No doubt many of the allies of Western powers in Africa are no sweethearts either. No doubt hypocrisy is not monopolized by one side.