Iran player breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

TEHRAN — One of two Iranian footballers threatened with a lifetime ban after playing against an Israeli club broke his silence on Friday, saying he had no intention of causing offense.

“My country has always been and will be my priority,” wrote midfielder Masoud Shojaei on his Instagram page.

“I have always tried to work wholeheartedly to be a suitable representative for the country.”

It came a week after news he and teammate Haji Safi had been banned for life from the national team for playing in a Europa League qualifier with their Greek club Panionios against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The Iranian government does not recognize Israel and bars its sportsmen from participating against Israelis in any event, including at the Olympics.

Iran appeared to row back the ban after a huge outcry from football fans on social media and the launch of an investigation by FIFA, which has rules against political interference in national teams.

Players from Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer team great their counterparts from Greece's Panionios ahead of their soccer match in Greece on August 3, 2017. (Screen capture: YouTube)

The ISNA news agency reported that the Iran Football Federation had denied the ban in a letter to FIFA on August 13.

That was despite a statement from Deputy Sports Minister Mohammad Reza Davarzani, saying “Shojaei and Haji Safi have no place in Iran’s national football team any more because they crossed the country’s red line.”

In his Instagram post, Shojaei appeared to respond to critics who said his appearance against an Israeli team had “disrespected” Iranian martyrs.

“I am the child of war and come from a town of sacrifice and resistance,” he said, referring to the brutal eight-year conflict against Iraq in the 1980s.

“I well understand the status of those dear ones who gave everything to defend us and God forbid, I will never try to abuse the name, image and sacrifice of these angels,” he wrote.

Queiroz delays announcing squad

National team coach Carlos Queiroz said this week that he was delaying naming his squad for the next international fixtures until August 27, with local media speculating he would use the extra time to talk the federation out of banning the players.

Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz of the Iranian national football team celebrates with players after winning the 2018 World Cup qualifying football match between Iran and Uzbekistan at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran on June 12, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE)

Iran face 2018 World Cup qualifiers against South Korea on August 31 and Syria on September 5, although Quieroz’s team have already booked their ticket to Russia.

Shojaei and Safi had refused to play in the away leg against Maccabi in Israel, but took part in the second leg in Greece on August 4. It did not help Panionios, who lost 1-0 to exit the competition 2-0 on aggregate.

Current and former top players, including Ali Karimi and Mehdi Taremi, expressed support for their colleagues, saying they had no choice but to play the game.

But Iran Football Federation vice president Ali Kafashian told the Mizan Online website that they shouldn’t have played “even if their contracts would have been terminated”.

Shoejaei had already risked the ire of conservatives in June when he called on the newly reelected President Hassan Rouhani to lift the ban on women spectators in Iranian stadiums.

Iran won six of their first eight World Cup qualification group matches to secure a place in Russia in 2018.

But if found guilty by FIFA of government interference, they could be barred from taking part.

Shojaei played 70 minutes in the last match, a 2-0 victory over Uzbekistan in June, while Safi remained on the bench.


Iran’s supreme leader mocks US over Charlottesville

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, joined the international criticism of race-related violence in the United States on Wednesday with a mocking tweet.

“If US has any power, they better manage their country, tackle #WhiteSupremacy rather than meddle in nations’ affairs. #Charlottesville,” Khamenei’s official Twitter feed posted along with a picture of the supreme leader holding a black child.

Khamenei’s office was responding to the furor in the US over an attack in Charlottesville by a suspected Nazi sympathizer, who plowed his car into anti-racism protesters, leaving one dead and 19 injured.

US President Donald Trump raised another huge controversy on Tuesday by saying there was “blame on both sides.”

View image on Twitter

If US has any power,they better manage their country,tackle  rather than meddle in nations’ affairs. 

The deepening divisions in US society have provided ample fodder for the Islamic Republic to deflect allegations of human rights abuses and turn the criticism back on its traditional enemy.

Earlier, the Iranian foreign ministry accused Washington of hypocrisy for its annual report on religious freedom, which was published on Tuesday and sharply criticized Iran.

“It is clear that religious and racial discrimination, Islamophobia, and xenophobia are a widespread and frequent phenomenon among American politicians,” spokesman Bahram Ghasemi hit back on the ministry’s website.

Also on Wednesday, a leading German politician said Trump’s comments on the events surrounding the Charlottesville rally were “highly dangerous.”

The SPD candidate for chancellor Martin Schulz arrives for a meeting in Berlin on August 14, 2017. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

Martin Schulz, who is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s main challenger in next month’s election, said Germany has to “do everything to avoid things here going the way they are in America.”

Schulz was asked in an interview with German media group RND about Trump’s comments that “there’s blame on both sides” for the weekend violence in Charlottesville.

In extracts of the interview published Wednesday, Schulz was quoted as saying that “the downplaying of Nazi violence in Trump’s incoherent comments is highly dangerous.”

Schulz, who leads Germany’s center-left Social Democratic Party, said it was important to “stand decisively against those who sow hatred. Always. And everywhere.”



The Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia used a smuggling route to transport offensive weapons, allegedly in violation of UN Resolution 2231, German’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.

The broadsheet paper cited “Western intelligence services” saying Iran delivered “offensive weapons systems” to Russia via a military air base in Syria.

“In June, two airplanes from Iran flew directly to the Khmeimim Air Base [southeast of Latakia] – the most important Russian military base in Syria – in order to bring the military equipment for transport to Russia,” the paper said.

According to Welt am Sonntag, the heavy military goods were loaded onto trucks and taken to the Syrian port of Tartus. The Russian ship Sparta III then delivered the weapons a few days later to Russia’s main Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

The paper said the weapons were sent to Russia for “service maintenance.”

It is unclear what types of weapons the Iranian regime sent to Russia. The Iran-Russia transport route was termed “a new smuggling route.”

The exclusive report showed satellite images of an Iranian Boeing airplane at Khmeimim. The US airplane giant Boeing seeks to sell $3 billion in airplanes to an Iranian airline. The revelations of Iran’s allegedly illicit use of a Boeing airplane could jeopardize the deal that faces fierce opposition in the US Congress. Last year, Reps.

Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Peter Roskam of Illinois wrote in a letter to Boeing: “American companies should not be complicit in weaponizing the Iranian regime.” The European airplane company Airbus is holding negotiations to sell 48 helicopters to Tehran.

Russia was part of the P5+1 group of world powers that signed the nuclear deal with Iran in July 2015.

The accord imposed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for significant sanctions relief.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 was passed that month as part of the nuclear deal’s architecture to restrict Iran’s missile and arms-related activities.

The Jerusalem Post reported last month on Iran’s illicit nuclear and missile weapons procurement activities in Germany during 2016.

According to the state of Hamburg’s intelligence agency: “there is no evidence of a complete aboutface in Iran’s atomic polices in 2016” [after it signed the nuclear deal]. Iran sought missile carrier technology necessary for its rocket program.”

An intelligence report from the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg stated, “Regardless of the number of national and international sanctions and embargoes, countries like Iran, Pakistan and North Korea are making efforts to optimize corresponding technology.”

According to the Baden-Württemberg report, Iran sought “products and scientific knowhow for the field of developing weapons of mass destruction as well as missile technology.” The 181-page document cites Iran’s illicit cyberware, espionage, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction procurement activities 49 times.

A telling example of Iran’s sanctions evasion strategy involved the assistance of a front company. The intelligence agency wrote that a Chinese import-export company contacted a firm in the southwestern German state that sells “complex metal producing machines.”

The Baden-Württemberg report said the technology would aid Iran’s development of ballistic missiles.

Germany’s Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control issued an end-use receipt for the Chinese purchase. Intelligence officials notified the manufacturer that the merchandise was slated to be illegally diverted to Iran. “This case shows that so-called indirect- deliveries across third countries is still Iran’s procurement strategy,” wrote the intelligence officials. Sophisticated engineering and technological companies are situated in Baden-Württemberg and it has long been a target for illicit Iranian procurement efforts.

A third state intelligence report from June said that in the 2016, “German companies located in Rhineland-Palatinate were contacted for illegal procurement attempts by [Pakistan, North Korea and Iran]. The procurement attempts involved goods that were subject to authorization and approval on account of legal export restrictions and UN embargoes. These goods, for example, could be used for a state’s nuclear and missile programs.”

The Trump administration will decide in October whether the Iran nuclear deal should again be certified for continuation. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is slated to travel to Vienna this month to meet with officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency – the UN nuclear watchdog organization – to discuss Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear pact.

New immigrants to Israel feted as miracles, and a threat to Iran

NEW YORK — They could easily have passed for Israelis: the clamorous crowd of several hundred Jews, many of them Orthodox, in a corner of the arrivals hall Monday, the teenagers in a frenzy to say their goodbyes, many singing or waving flags. The passengers on Nefesh B’Nefesh’s charter flight of olim, or immigrants to Israel, were gearing up for takeoff at a farewell ceremony at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The dignitaries who addressed the 233-strong group, each sponsor and partner in the El Al flight eager to get a word in, emphasized its diversity — many couples and singles, professionals in a variety of fields; 75 children, the youngest of whom was eight months old — and the miraculousness of their return to their ancestral homeland.

“The entire spectrum of our nation is represented,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, who, along with businessman Tony Gelbart, founded Nefesh B’Nefesh in 2002 to circumvent Israel’s byzantine bureaucracy and ease the integration — or, as Israelis call it, absorption — of American and British immigrants.

Fass hinted at that infamous red tape in his speech, saying the flight was a “miracle” not only in that it had brought together a diverse group of American Jews for a singular cause, but also in that the various Israeli sponsors of the flight were able to cooperate to achieve such an end. Those included the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemet Le’Israel and the Jewish Agency.

A new immigrant to Israel blows a shofar after landing at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 (Shahar Azran)

Another sponsor was the Israel Scouts’ Garin Tzabar, which provides a support system to young Jews who immigrate to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. In all, 68 lone-soldiers-to-be — 36 women and 32 men — were on board.

While most of the speakers shied away from politics, Israel’s consul-general in New York, Dani Dayan, said the new immigrants represented “233 mortal blows to the delegitimization of Israel” and would be a source of conversation far beyond the arrivals hall at JFK.

“They take notice of it in Tehran,” he said. “When Hezbollah threatens Israel, they know that you will defeat it.”

Turning to the future soldiers in the crowd, he added, “You are the commanders of the Jewish people… My young friends, you are about to join the first Jewish army in 2,000 years.”

One of those soldiers, 18-year-old Ron Yitzhak from Chicago, said he was eager to follow in the footsteps of his father and uncles and serve as a paratrooper in the IDF.

Ron Yitzhak, 18, who immigrated to Israel to join the IDF, after landing at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 (Elie Leshem/Times of Israel)

“Already at my bar mitzvah, I told my cousins that I would come to Israel and do the army,” he said, brushing aside any notion of concerns about risking his life to serve thousands of miles from home.

“I’ll get along,” he said, beaming, in accentless, nonchalant Hebrew, and predicted that after his release, he would settle somewhere in the south of the country, preferably Eilat, “because I love the beach.”

From Kennedy to Ben Gurion

When the plane touched down at Ben Gurion Airport, the olim broke out in thunderous applause, as Israelis do, and then in song. Afterward, on the stairs leading down from the plane, one man stopped and blew a massive shofar, or ritual rams’ horn, while below the future IDF recruits huddled, whooping loudly, for group pictures.

Among those waiting on the tarmac was David Friedman, the American ambassador to Israel, who had turned out to greet his 23-year-old daughter, a nurse, who will reportedly be settling in Jerusalem.

“We’re so proud of our daughter Talia. She always wanted to live in Israel, and she’s realizing her dream,” he told reporters after warmly embracing her. “Our whole family is very proud of her. We’re here just to greet her and give her a hug and wish her behatzlaha raba [much success] here in Israel.”

He added, “We just want her to be happy. This is something she always wanted to do. She loves Israel. We all love Israel. Our whole family loves Israel. And this is her dream. We’re very proud of her.”

Nearby, one of El Al’s hangars had been appointed with hundreds of lawn chairs, refreshments ranging from Elite coffee to lemon popsicles and a live band playing a string of contemporary Israeli pop hits alongside more traditional tunes. There, the new arrivals were treated to a second round of speeches.

The most prominent politician on hand was Yair Lapid, who chairs the opposition Yesh Atid party. He spoke of his late father, a former minister in the Israeli government, who was an oleh to Israel 70 years ago, describing the move to the Jewish state as “a deep experience of the soul of the nation.”

“Israel welcomes you happily,” he said. “We need you because without you our family is incomplete. Welcome back. Welcome home.”

Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, invoked recent events in the United States, drawing a parallel between the demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, during which neo-Nazi chanted “Jews will not replace us,” and the Dyke March in June in Chicago, where participants were barred from displaying Jewish symbols.

“There are anti-Semites on the right and anti-Semites on the left,” he said. “Out best answer is what you’re doing: We continue to build together our home, the State of Israel.”

‘I want to do a service’

Like Yitzhak, Hannah Partney, 22, from Connecticut, said she was eager to join a combat unit, though, as opposed to him, she has no close family or roots in Israel.

Hannah Partney, 22, who immigrated to Israel to join the IDF, after landing at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 (courtesy)

She first spent time in Israel volunteering for a few weeks with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, which facilitates food and lodging in exchange for farming work, and almost immediately began to consider the idea of immigrating and joining the military. “Then I went back and did a year of university in Jerusalem,” Partney said, to decide whether or not to go through with her plan.

“I’ve always been interested in military service,” she said. “I thought about the US military but ultimately didn’t go that way. I’m interested in the discipline and the challenges. I don’t want to live in Israel on a free ticket. I want to do a service. That’s really important to me.”

While her parents were accepting of her decision to go to Israel, they feared for her safety as a soldier, she said.

“There’s more risk in uniform, so yeah, they’re really concerned,” said Partney. “I think it has a lot to do with them not being familiar with Israeli culture… For them to see soldiers walking around with assault rifles is really a new sight. That’s not really something that they would look at and feel like it’s normal.”



Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned of the possibility that Iran could drop out of the 2015 nuclear deal, according to an AFP report.

The deal was made with a number of world powers and included the lifting of international sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.

Rouhani’s warning, made in a televised address to parliament, said that Iran could abandon the deal within hours if the United States continues to impose sanctions.

Iran’s parliament voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to raise spending on its military and missile program. The vote was Iran’s response to legislation passed by US Congress and signed by President Donald Trump earlier this month to impose new sanctions on the nation due to its missile program.

Iran denies that its current missile program violates the 2015 nuclear agreement.

In the address to parliament, Rouhani criticized US President Donald Trump, saying that he was “not a good partner.”

“The failed experience of sanctions and coercion brought their previous administrations to the negotiating table,” Rouhani said in the speech.

“If they want to go back to that experience, definitely in a short time – not weeks or months, but in the scale of hours and days – we will return to our previous situation very much more stronger,” he said.

Iran filling vacuum left by IS retreat in Syria, Iraq, Mossad chief warns

The head of the Mossad warned Sunday that as the Islamic State terrorist group is beaten back, Iran and its proxies are rushing in to take over its territory.

“The areas where Daesh [an Arabic term for IS] presence is decreasing, Iran is working to fill the void,” Mossad chief Yossi Cohen said during a security briefing to cabinet ministers on Sunday.

In late 2014, the terrorist group controlled approximately 100,000 square kilometers (38,610 square miles) of territory in western Iraq and eastern Syria, according to the US-based RAND Corporation think tank. (The group also controlled an additional 10,000 square kilometers in Nigeria, Libya, Afghanistan and Egypt.) It started losing ground in 2015 and currently controls less than half that area, or some 36,200 square kilometers (14,000 square miles), according to the IHS Conflict Monitor intelligence think tank.

Israeli security officials have warned that Tehran may use the area of western Iraq and eastern Syria as a “land bridge” connecting the Islamic Republic to Lebanon, through which it can move fighters and weaponry.

Cohen said Iran is also taking over territory for itself and its proxies in Lebanon and Yemen.

Iraqi Special Forces soldiers celebrate after reaching the bank of the Tigris river as their fight against Islamic State militants continues in parts of the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, July 9, 2017. (AP/Felipe Dana)

The Mossad chief noted that in the two years since the signing of the Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Tehran has not abandoned its desire to develop nuclear weapons, and that the agreement “only reinforced that trend and strengthened Iranian aggression in the region.”

The JCPOA came under considerable criticism in Israel for its failure to address Iran’s disruptive non-nuclear activities, and for what Israeli officials described as legitimizing the regime in Tehran and its activities in the region.

During his presentation to the ministers, Cohen said Iran was now enjoying economic growth and international contracts in the deal’s wake.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Cohen’s presentation by noting “that Israel is in no way beholden to international treaties signed by Iran,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

The Prime Minister’s Office added that “Israel will continue to operate with determination and in a variety of ways in order to protect itself from those threats.”

Iran votes to raise spending on missiles, Guards to challenge US

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s parliament voted Sunday to allocate $520 million to develop its missile program to fight Washington’s “adventurism” and sanctions, and to boost the foreign operations of the country’s Revolutionary Guards.

“The Americans should know that this was our first action,” said speaker Ali Larijani, after announcing an overwhelming majority vote for a package “to confront terrorist and adventurist actions by the United States in the region.”

A total of 240 lawmakers voted for the bill, out of the 244 parliamentarians present.

The vote came after fresh US sanctions in July against Iran, targeting Tehran’s missile program.

“The bill is backed by the foreign ministry and the government and is part of measures by the JCPOA supervision committee to confront the recent US Congress law,” deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi.

He was referring to a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, known officially as the JCPOA, under which Iran agreed to strict limits on its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

Iran meanwhile has launched ballistic missiles in tests, something it is allowed to do under the deal, despite American criticism.

The bill passed Sunday mandates the government to allocate an additional $260 million for the “development of the missile program” and the same amount to the Revolutionary Guards’s foreign operations wing, the Quds Force, state news agency IRNA said.

After Larijani announced the vote results, lawmakers shouted: “Death to America.”

Kuwait arrests 12 over ties to Iran, Hezbollah

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwaiti authorities on Saturday arrested 12 convicted members of a “terrorist cell” with ties to Iran and Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah after a weeks-long manhunt.

The interior ministry said the 12 had been captured in different areas across Kuwait. They had been on the run since their sentencing last month, while two other convicted Kuwaitis remained at large.

The supreme court in Sunni-ruled Kuwait, which has a sizeable Shiite minority, in June overturned an acquittal by an appeals court and convicted 21 Shiites of forming a “terrorist cell” with ties to Iran and Hezbollah.

The cell had planned to launch attacks across the Gulf state, according to the court verdict.

Kuwait has protested to Lebanon over the alleged training of the so-called “Abdali Cell” by Hezbollah, which has ministers in the Beirut government.

Last month, authorities expelled 15 Iranian diplomats and shut down the military, cultural and trade missions of the Iranian embassy over Tehran’s backing of the “terrorist cell.”

Iran said the allegation is baseless.

Shiites account for around a third of Kuwait’s native population of 1.35 million.

Iran removes soccer players for competing against an Israeli team

(JTA) — Iran reportedly has removed two players from its national soccer team after they competed against an Israeli team.

Haji Safi and Masoud Shojaei play for the Greek soccer club Panionios, which last week competed against Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv team in a Europa League qualifying round in Greece. The Greek team lost.

“Shojaei and Haji Safi have no place in Iran’s national football team any more because they crossed the country’s red line,” Deputy Sports Minister Mohammad Reza Davarzani said on state television, according to the French news agency AFP.

Davarzani acknowledged that in the previous round, the players had declined to travel with their team to play in Israel despite receiving “pressure.”

“Well done to Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Haji Safi who broke the taboo of not playing in matches against Israeli athletes,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry wrote on its Farsi language Twitter account, according to reports.

Trump: Iran is ‘not in compliance’ with nuclear deal (LOL….)

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that Iran was not upholding its obligations under the landmark nuclear deal struck in 2015 by former president Barack Obama.

“I don’t think they’re living up to the spirit of the agreement,” he told reporters at his private golf club in Bedminister, New Jersey, where Trump is currently spending a 17-day retreat from Washington.

“They are not in compliance with the agreement and they certainly are not in the spirit of the agreement in compliance, and I think you’ll see some very strong things taking place if they don’t get themselves in compliance,” he went on to say.

Trump has been signaling for weeks that he would like to declare Tehran noncompliant with the terms of the accord. In July, he instructed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to verify to Congress that Iran was abiding by the pact.

But two weeks ago, he told The Wall Street Journal he did not suspect he would do the same three months from now. Under the agreement, the White House must certify to Congress every three months whether Iran is honoring the deal, which rolled back sanctions in exchange for curbing Iran’s nuclear program.

Participants in the talks on the Iran nuclear deal pose for a group photo at the UN building in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2015. (Carlos Barria, Pool Photo via AP)

“We’re doing very detailed studies,” he told the Journal. “We’ve been extremely nice to them in saying they were compliant, OK? We’ve given them the benefit of every doubt. But we’re doing very detailed studies.”

“I think they’ll be noncompliant,” he added, discussing what he will declare after the next 180-day cycle. “I think they’re taking advantage of this country. They’ve taken advantage of a president, named Barack Obama, who didn’t know what the hell he was doing. And I do not expect that they will be compliance.”

Furthermore, The New York Times has reported that Trump and his aides are actively seeking to find a way out of the deal.

At the time of the certification, the administration was emphatic that while Iran was technically complying with the pact, it did not believe it was living up to its spirit.

A senior administration official briefed reporters hours before the certification, citing Iran’s ballistic missile testing and development, support for terrorism, support for the Bashar Assad regime in Syria and other human rights violations and arbitrary detainment of foreigners.

Also cited was Tehran’s “continuing hostility of Israel” and its “cyber attacks against the United States and Israel,” the official said.

In his remarks to reporters Thursday, Trump continued his practice of criticizing his predecessor.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) looks on as US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before he meets with his cabinet in the Cabinet Room at the White House on March 13, 2017. (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

“President Obama in his wisdom gave them $150 billion,” he said. “He gave them $1.8 billion in cash. That’s a hard one to figure. But that was his decision. I think it’s a horrible agreement.”

As a presidential candidate, Trump was highly critical of the deal, often calling it the worst ever negotiated. But he also provided contradictory messages for how he would handle the Iranian challenge.

In his address at the 2016 AIPAC conference, for instance, Trump said he would both “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran” and “enforce the terms of the previous deal to hold Iran totally accountable.”

As president, he has refrained from abrogating the agreement, but has intimated he would like to do so if Iranian behavior did not change.

He did, however, impose new sanctions on multiple Iranian entities and individuals in February after Tehran defied a United Nations Security Council resolution by testing ballistic missiles.

The Senate late last month also imposed mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. It would also apply terrorism sanctions to Iran’s prestigious Revolutionary Guard and enforce an arms embargo.