UNITED NATIONS (Oct. 2)
The Israel Mission to the United Nations has launched a campaign to expose the multi-billion dollar oil trade between Arab countries, Iran and South Africa in response to the constant allegations by Arab countries in the UN that Israel is a major trading partner of South Africa.
In coming weeks, the Israel Mission will release information to the UN which indicates that the Arab countries and Iran sold some $7.7 billion worth of oil to South Africa between 1980 and 1986 and Iran and Iraq each bartered about $1 billion of oil in exchange for heavy artillery.
The Israel Mission has corroborated the data on the oil trade with data supplied by the Shipping Research Bureau in The Netherlands, an independent group set up to monitor the UN oil embargo on South Africa, a Mission spokesman, Eyal Arad, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Thursday.
Information on the barter deals also came from the Voyages Registry of Lloyds of London, an insurance company.
UN Ambassador Binyamin Netanyahu told a gathering of the American Jewish Congress Wednesday that the Arab countries and Iran are secretly supplying South Africa with virtually all of its oil needs.
Netanyahu accused the Arabs of covering up their illegal oil shipments and launching a propaganda campaign against Israel. “What the Arabs are doing is accusing Israel of the very practices they themselves are guilty of,” Netanyahu said.
The Mission has records of names of ships and companies, ports of call, dates of shipments and also has information that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Iran are the main suppliers of oil to South Africa, Arad said.
Israel’s present trade with South Africa consists of about $100 million worth of goods, less than half of one percent of South Africa’s total trade and about three-fourths of one percent of Israel’s total exports, Netanyahu said.
He also told the AJCongress that Black African countries traditionally hostile to Israel are now stepping up their contacts with Israel. He attributed the changing African attitude to a decline in Arab oil power and the new opportunity of African countries to see the value of renewed contacts with Israel.
Netanyahu said a Black African diplomat had told him, “We are no longer afraid of (the Arabs) and we no longer believe their promises.”