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Friday, February 13, 2009

Cyprus unloads weapons from Gaza-bound ship

Cyprus Radio reported on Friday that the Cypriot army is in the process of unloading weapons found aboard the Iranian ship that has been docked in Limmasol since the beginning of the month. The weapons were intended for Hamas in Gaza.
The army is taking the weapons to an army base that is near the Limmasol port. A government statement said the cargo, which it did not identify, would be stored on the island. State CyBC radio said containers were being transported to a naval base under police and military guard.

The Cypriot-flagged Monchegorsk has anchored off the port of Limassol since it arrived Jan. 29 under suspicion from US officials of ferrying weapons from Iran to Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

The US military said it found artillery shells and other arms aboard the ship after stopping it last month in the Red Sea. Iran denies the ship contains weapons.
Artillery shells? That's not quite what they told us about that ship last month....
According to unofficial intelligence reports, the Iran Shahed set out from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas Dec. 29, the second day of the Gaza conflict, changing its identity several times until hoisting a Cypriot flag. The vessel was stopped by the US Sixth Fleet in the Gulf of Aden on its way to Egypt, where it was believed to have planned to unload its cargo, which was then to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip. The US Navy searched the ship prior to its entry into the Suez Canal, with permission of the captain but found only "small munitions," so the vessel was allowed to continue its voyage after the search, and was seemingly bound for Syria. The US said it lacked the authority to seize the cargo.
Small munitions? I don't know about the rest of you, but when I hear small munitions, I think of handguns, not artillery shells.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou said Tuesday that the ship had breached a UN ban on Iranian arms exports but refused to specify what had been found on the Cypriot-flagged Monchegorsk.
Okay, let's give the Cypriots credit: I believe this is the first time in recorded human history that a UN resolution has been enforced against an Arab or Muslim country.


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