The State Department yesterday disputed statements by Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon that the United States knew in detail about Israeli military supplies sent to Iran and did not object.
Spokesman Dean Fischer said the United States had "expressed the strong hope" in conversations with Israel that military items would not be shipped to Iran during its war with Iraq. Israel did so anyway, and recently informed Washington that the amount of the shipments did not exceed about $27 million, Fischer said.
He also said that the United States refused to give permission for the supplying to Iran of military items produced or controlled by the United States. "The Israelis have assured us repeatedly that they have accepted our position with regard to U.S.-controlled items," Fischer said.
In New York, Iran's ranking diplomat at the United Nations, Dr. Saeed Rajaie-Khorasani, said reports of Israeli arms shipments to Iran are "absolutely false" and an effort by "imperialist interests" to divide the Moslem world. He characterized both the United States and Israel as "bloody liars."
Another aspect of Sharon's remarks, made in an interview Thursday, was challenged yesterday by retired British diplomat Lord Caradon, author of U.N. Resolution 242 of 1967, which has been the basic diplomatic guideline for settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute.
Caradon, here to participate in a conference on Jerusalem, said additional Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as forecast by Sharon, and refusal to withdraw from occupied territories, are direct violations of Resolution 242.
Moreover, he charged, they represent "a declaration of war" against international efforts to find a peaceful resolution of disputes in the area.
Caradon held out little hope for the negotiations about Palestinian autonomy between Israel and Egypt under U.S. sponsorship. "Full autonomy is a nonsense idea now because the land is being taken away . . . being day by day eroded by colonization and annexation," he said.