Thursday, November 5, 2009

Container Ship Revealed to Be Carrying Huge Quantity of Weapons

Hezbollah denies weapons for them
Shipping News Feature

ISRAEL – Following on from yesterday's report concerning the seizure of the Antiguan-flagged vessel Francop by Israeli commandos comes news that the quantity of arms and munitions is actually far beyond any amount interdicted before.

The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) now states that at least 40 shipping containers were being used to carrying at least 500 tonnes of illegal weapons, including large numbers of the infamous Katyusha rockets that have been used in the past to bombard Israeli civilians.

The Israeli’s also provided evidence that containers belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) were aboard the Francop. IRISL was banned last month from dealing with British financial institutions due to allegations of their involvement with arms and nuclear smuggling.

In a statement by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that: “Iran continues to systematically ignore UN Security Council resolutions by supplying weapons to terror organizations. Moreover, this incident proves once again that any entity that conducts business, directly or indirectly with the Iranian regime or with the Iranian shipping company IRISL, runs the risk of violating UN Security Council resolutions.

“Under the guise of legitimate commerce, and by using ships, flags and ports of blameless countries, Iran is turning the Mediterranean into a base for its nefarious activities, with the aim of destabilizing regional security.”

In response to Israel’s allegations that the arms were intended for them, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah told AFP news agency that: “Hezbollah staunchly denies any link to the weapons that the Zionist enemy has seized from the Francop ship.

“At the same time Hezbollah denounces Israel's piracy in international waters.”

(pic: A portion of the weapons unloaded from the Francop. Copyright: IDF)