Iran denies transferring arms to Somali militants

Somali militants

Iran is rejecting allegations that it transferred weapons to Islamic militants in Somalia as an "absurd fabrication.''

Iran's U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said in a letter to the U.N. Security Council obtained Thursday by The Associated Press that the allegations in a report by experts monitoring sanctions against Somalia and Eritrea were part of a "malicious campaign.''

According to a U.N. diplomat, the report links Iran and Yemen to the supply of weapons to al-Shabab militants. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been publicly released.

Khazaee said the monitoring group put forward "unfounded allegations and strange fabrications'' in its report without first informing the Iranian government, and the contents were leaked "for propaganda purposes.''

He urged the sanctions committee to take "corrective measures.''

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