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Friday, February 16, 2007

Austria okays export of 30,000 handguns to Iran

Austrian authorities have approved the export of 30,000 handguns to Iran, local media reported Friday, days after a report that sophisticated Austrian rifles were finding their way into the hands of Iraqi insurgents.

Austrian media reported the pistols had been sold to Iran's interior ministry, which is in charge of the police force.

Austrian economic ministry officials told state radio that their ministry had approved the sale of the "Glock" pistols last month, saying Iranian authorities had provided documentary evidence that they would not be passed on to others.

Another request for the weapons from the Iranian army was denied after it refused to give such assurances, said the officials, adding such sales to police were allowed under legislation governing the export of weapons.

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