Iran and the lion's share of Arab countries have
refused to report weapons deals to the United Nations.
The entire Arab League, with the exception of Jordan and
Lebanon, did not reply to the UN Register of Convention Arms for 2002.
Jordan reported imports of weapons and Lebanon did not report any arms
Only Greece and Turkey in the region reported the size and composition of their
militaries and weaponry.
Israel, Greece and Turkey reported both imports and exports to the UN.
Israel reported the sale of 18 large-caliber artillery systems to Uganda and
30 AGM-142 Popeye missile to Turkey, Middle East Newsline reported. Turkey also exported 80 combat vehicles
Israel also reported the transfer of four 120 mm mortars to the United
States. Israel also imported 54 M113 armored personnel carriers from the
Jordan said it received 88 Challenger-1 main battle tanks from Britain
in 2002. Amman said it imported 10 MITES launchers and 100 missiles from
The UN asked each of its members to list acquisition or exports of main
battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems,
combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and launchers. The
missile category includes unmanned air vehicles but not surface-to-air
Since 1997, not one North African country has reported arms transfers to
the register. The report classifies five countries as those belonging to
North Africa and said reporting from countries on the continent were lowest
for any region.
In the rest of the Middle East, termed "West Asia," the report asserted
that no more than three countries Ñ Israel, Greece and Turkey Ñ have cooperated with the UN register over
the last decade. Only 28 out of 54 countries in Asia reported arms transfers
to the UN.
The UN Group of Governmental Experts agreed to revise two of the seven
categories of conventional arms covered by the register. They comprised the
lowering of the reporting threshold for large-caliber artillery systems and
include man-portable air-defense systems in the register under the category
of missiles and missile launchers.
"This would contribute to broad-based international efforts to stem
illicit transfers, particularly in preventing these short-range
ground-to-air systems from falling into the hands of terrorists," the report
The UN group, which included an Israeli Foreign Ministry official Alon
Bar, could not decide on proposals to raise the reporting status of
procurement through national production and military holdings. The members
said they would discuss this issue for the next review.
The report said main battle tanks were undergoing a change. The two
trends producing tanks with higher tonnage and gun caliber as well as using
new technologies to develop lighter tanks, although not less than 16.5