Iranian arms ship in Cyprus carries 10 containers of rockets for Hamas

DEBKA file’s military sources report that the Cypriot-flagged Monchegorsk renamed Iran Hedayt held at Limassol since last week was carrying 10 containers of Iranian rockets and other weapons for rearming Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Cyprus has reported to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on its findings in two inspections of the vessel but has not published them.
The US navy stopped the suspect ship in the Red Sea last month and allowed to continue through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean. Neither the US Navy nor Egypt seized the cargo.
Israel warned Nicosia that the cargo aboard, concealed in welded steel containers, contravened UN Security Council Resolution 1747 which forbids Iran to export arms under international sanctions and violates Israel’s terms for accepting a Gaza ceasefire in its 22-day operation. Cyprus now awaits UN instructions.
If the Iranian ship were allowed to sail with its 10 arms containers it could face interception by the Israeli Navy with the potential of an Iranian-Israeli armed clash. But if it were permitted to unload the cargo, Tehran would be encouraged to send more arms ships to Hamas and the entire international effort to stop the Palestinian Islamists rearming – to which the US, Egypt and European nations are party – would fall apart before taking off.
The US took proactive steps in a past incident of this kind. debkafile‘s sources found that on Dec. 2, 2002, American warships helped two Spanish warships halt a North Korean cargo vessel and confiscate Scud missiles bound for Saddam Hussein that were hidden beneath sacks of cement.
This Iranian arms ship from Bandar Abbas was first revealed exclusively by debkafile on Jan. 20 and tracked further on Jan. 23 and Jan. 25. Click HERE.

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