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Viewing cable 09ASHGABAT218, TURKMENISTAN/IRAN: WEAPONS FOUND HIDDEN IN IRANIAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASHGABAT218 2009-02-13 12:12 2010-11-28 18:06 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Ashgabat
P 131259Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2320
INFO ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
CIS COLLECTIVE
EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
IRAN COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY ANKARA 
AMCONSUL DUBAI 
AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
CIA WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
JOINT STAFF WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC
S E C R E T ASHGABAT 000218 
 
 
NOFORN 
 
STATE FOR NEA/IR AND SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2019 
TAGS: IR PGOV PREL PTER TX
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN/IRAN: WEAPONS FOUND HIDDEN IN IRANIAN 
EMBASSY SHIPMENT 
 
Classified By: Charge Richard Miles, reasons 1.4(b) and (d). 
 
1. (S/NF)  A Turkmen customs official told an Embassy LES on 
February 13 that an Iranian Embassy diplomatic container with 
AK-47's, sniper rifles and ammunition hidden in it had been 
discovered one week earlier at the Serdar Uli (Gaudan) 
customs point in Ashgabat, where vehicles and containers 
arriving from or bound for Iran are inspected.  The weapons 
were reportedly hidden underneath two Turkmen carpets that 
the Iranian Embassy was shipping to Iran. 
 
2. (S/NF) The LES went to the Ashgabat Customs Point (a 
different location) to inquire about an Embassy pouch 
shipment arriving by truck, and an issue arose about opening 
the Embassy's container for inspection.  The customs 
official, who is a close friend of LES, then brought up the 
Iranian container incident.  He said that a local shipping 
employee of the Iranian Embassy had been present when another 
official, acting on a "hunch that something was not right," 
opened the Iranian Embassy container.  The customs official 
told LES that the official who discovered the cache was 
honored for his actions and received a promotion. 
 
3. (S/NF) COMMENT:  Turkmenistan imposes stringent controls 
on the importation of any type of firearm, and Chiefs of 
Missions' security detail are all unarmed.  Even assuming 
that the weapons in question were intended for the Iranian 
Embassy's internal security, this would not explain the 
presence of offensive weapons such as sniper rifles, in the 
cache.  The Embassy has no official confirmation about the 
incident, which was, we note, relayed second-hand to our LES. 
 END COMMENT. 
 
 
MILES