Iran and South Africa – Guns, Oil and Embargoes

South Africa supplies weapons to Iran in spite of UN sanctions

In spite of UN Sanctions, South Africa supplies arms to Iran. South African Deputy President's partner involved.

It was repulsive enough to find out that (yet again) South Africa is acting as a corridor for weapons to a country who really should not have any. Back then it was Zimbabwe. Now it is Iran. And goodness knows what went on in between Then and Now.

I truly hope that this was a once-off, but in my heart I know it is not. The entire operation is much too slick, and completely unlike the time the Chinese and South African governments conspired to smuggle heavy artillery into Zimbabwe in support of its genocidal Mugabe regime.

Guns and other military equipment shipped from South Africa to Iran

On this occasion US weapons were purchased by a Canadian Company, who exported the equipment to South Africa. Selling military grade weapons with South Africa as the end user on the certificate, is completely legal. It is once the weapons hit South African soil that – suddenly – everything starts resembling a marsh: smelly and murky, with several large alligators lurking below the surface.

Here, front-companies re-register the weapons. It seems that the partner of South African Deputy President  Motlanthe, had some

Iran and South Africa Weapons Trade - These are the victims of war

South Africa supplies weapons to Iran. This child could be the next victim.

involvement in terms of paying bribes. I am still trying to figure out WHO the companies are and to whom bribes were paid. The re-registered weapons are shipped to Iran on Russian Cargo Carriers.

It is not the first time of late that family members / spouses of the highest-of-high Brass in South Africa are caught with a smoking gun in the hand. One has to wonder at the coincidence…

I find it highly disturbing that the coverage of the blatant South African violation of sanctions against Iran is receiving so very little attention from the media and that – for some reason – they are not trying to unearth exactly who all the role players are. Guns kill. I have to wonder how many innocents will be killed by Iran with the guns South Africa supplied to them, before the world sits up and really takes notice.

The South African government’s reaction is that they will investigate. This is lip service. In my opinion, South Africa  earned their stripes as Merchants of Death.

South Africa is still buying oil from Iran

The UN has been exerting pressure on South Africa for a while now to stop importing oil from Iran. Late March 2012, it seemed as though the South African government finally paid heed.

To quote Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim at a news conference:

“To my knowledge, no Iranian oil is flowing into our country. If there is any, it is very little.”

Yeah, right.

Less than an hour ago, Reuters reported that South Africa imported $364 million in oil from Iran during February. Engen and Sasol are the two biggest buyers of crude originating in Iran.

Frankly, I did not expect the flow of oil from Iran to South Africa to miraculously disappear. These two countries are bedfellows in several joint ventures, such as the $900 million Polymer JV (Arya Sasol Polymer Company) with Pars Petrochemicals.

UN! Impose an Arms Embargo on South Africa

The government of South Africa cannot be trusted. They don’t respect their own signature on UN resolutions they voted in favour of. They don’t respect the rule of law (i.e. Pres. Zuma never stood trial for arms deal corruption charges). They don’t respect the population to whom they have a duty of care (i.e. look at the shocking state of health care and education in the country). They only respect their own pockets and serve their own greed.

I wish to see an arms embargo placed on South Africa until the trade of weapons with Iran is investigated and the culprits are tried.

If you have any information that could be helpful in my research, please contact me.

Bullard for President

I don’t buy the Sunday Times. For one, 95% of it is a waste of good trees; secondly, the bulk of the stories it contains, only serve to aggravate my usual Sunday Blues; and finally, the worthwhile bits and pieces in the Sunday Times offered free of charge by your local Wimpy or Greenfields, can quite easily be read in between ordering and receiving your favourite high-cholesterol breakfast.I am a habitual Sunday-breakfast-somewhere person. So, true to form, I headed for Greenfields and hauled the Sunday Times from the haphazardly stacked newspaper stand. The first item to draw my eye happened to be David Bullard’s Out to Lunch column. The heading was: “You will find a really low road at the end of this rainbow.”With my interest sufficiently piqued, I read the entire article. It was somewhat ascetic, but delightfully so. You can read the Out to Lunch article by David Bullard here: http://www.thetimes.co.za/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=735313

Yes, once upon a time in Never-Never-Land, I too was a starry eyed idealist, taken in by the gift of the gab of our venerated ANC politicians. And yes, reptiles happen to be an apt description – it takes cold-bloodedness to sit, with arms crossed, watching our primary healthcare coming to its knees, the school system failing, the poor becoming increasingly poorer and denying the majority of the HIV-positive anti-retroviral treatment. (No, oh portly one, beetroot and garlic don’t do the same job). The only difference between said politicians and reptiles is that reptiles have backbones. Considering the inability of the powers that be to take a stand – their attitude to Mugabe’s genocidal, despotic methods of governing Zimbabwe, immediately comes to mind – probably makes them the only invertebrate reptile species on the planet.

I cannot help but wonder, whether all of this has something to do with a total and utter lack of responsibility and a complete inability to take ownership of issues. Blame the colonialists, blame the apartheid regime and now, blame the US economy’s influenza. In fact, while you are at it, blame everyone else. In the current regime the proverbial buck is passed on and on and on and …. There is no “The Buck Stops Here” sign on our esteemed president’s desk, I am sure.

Then, what are we South Africans to do? We could up and leave like many others, or we could spend the next 40 minus 14 years struggling for positive change. The choice is personal. I, for one, am going to stick around for a while longer. The stars have not completely faded from my eyes – even though they are much, much dimmer than before.

Perhaps – by some miracle – the ANC politicians will heed David Bullard’s words of wisdom to stop treating the beloved country as their personal fiefdoms. Perhaps, I might add, the ANC government will come to realize that they are not – and I repeat NOT – a liberation movement any longer. They are the government now, and the only things they would do well to liberate themselves from, are the claws of greed and the blinkers on their eyes.