Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton says he believes the recent transfer of electronic equipment to Iran and North Korea from a United Nation’s organization is a clear violation of sanctions against the two countries.
“I think these transfers clearly violate existing Security Council sanctions resolutions,” Bolton said Thursday night, referring to reports that the U.N.’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) sent computers, servers, and other equipment to both Iran and North Korea.
“Computers are dual-use technologies that can be used for nuclear and ballistic missile programs, number one, “ Bolton said on Fox News’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
“Number two, if these transfers are typical of other U.N. programs, not only are North Korea and Iran getting these computers, they’re getting them free,” he continued. “The U.N. is giving them this equipment.”
Officials with the Geneva-based WIPO, which helps developing nations improve their patent office operations, insisted the transfers were within U.N. guidelines and did not include technology or training prohibited by sanctions.
But Bolton disagreed, saying “the key thing here is that it shows that even within the U.N. system, Iran and North Korea can exploit weaknesses and vagueness in the sanctions regime.
“If they can get this assistance from the U.N.,” he added, “imagine what they’re getting out on the market.”
Bolton called the transfer to North Korea “particularly interesting.”
“These computers and servers and other equipment — and technical assistance by WIPO — were for the North Korean patent office,” he noted. “Let me just say that again — the North Korean patent office.
“I bet that’s a real beehive of activity.”
“What could the people in Geneva at WIPO headquarters have been thinking when they agreed to this?” Bolton added.
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