A ship identified as an arms ship seized by Israeli authorities near Cyprus Wednesday, anchors in the port of the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, (AP Photo/Avi Roccah)
This footage of a massive illegal arms shipment from Iran was given to me by a source in the Chicago Office of the Israeli Consul to the Midwest. The arms -- intercepted Tuesday night -- are believed to have been headed to Gaza for use by Hezbollah against Israel.
The six-minute video shows the ship entering Ashdod’s port after it was seized and reveals the Iranian weapons found on it.
Roughly 500 tons of weapons, rockets, and missiles were uncovered aboard the cargo vessel “Francop” flying an Antiguan flag.
Thirty-six shipping containers with 500 tons of weaponry were found on the ship disguised as civilian cargo and hidden among hundreds of other containers onboard. The naval commando force boarded the vessel and conducted an initial search. The search was conducted in accordance with the usual search protocols as dictated by International Law.
Following the initial search and after it became clear that the vessel was carrying weapons, the vessel was directed by the Israel Navy to dock at the Israeli Ashdod Naval base for additional searches and a detailed inspection of the hull’s cargo. The captain of the ship agreed to the search and the Israeli Navy conducted all its activity without any force. Following the necessary inspections of the boat, it is expected to be released.
The “Francop”, owned by the Cypriot shipping company UFS, was carrying containers marked IRISL (Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines), as can be clearly seen in the picture, above, of the seized ship in Ashdod port.
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, as has recently come to light in the cases of the Monchegorsk and the Hansa India.
UN Security Council Resolution 1747 prohibits weapons export from Iran. The existence of Iranian weapons in the containers represents, therefore, a severe violation of this resolution. This violation is one of many violations of UN Security Council Resolutions by Iran. Iran continues to systematically ignore UNSC Resolutions, supplying weapons to terror organizations.
As it appears that the weapons were destined for terrorist organizations in Lebanon, it seems apparent that this is also a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. Despite UNSCR 1701, the transfer of weapons from Iran and Syria to Hezbullah is continuing unmolested, including the intent to transfer new and dangerous weapon types
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