Hundreds of tons of weaponry, ten times the size of the Karine A shipment of 2002, were seized in an overnight raid Tuesday by the Israeli navy, some 100 nautical miles west of Israel, officials said. Defense officials said the 140-meter long Francop, captured near Cyprus, was carrying arms sent by Iran and destined for Syria and Hizbullah.
The weapons seized on the ship, which was sailing under an Antiguan flag, included 3,000 rockets of various types… Israel Radio reported that advanced anti-aircraft platforms never before found in the region were also on board… The weapons included 107-millimeter rockets, 60-millimeter mortars, 7.62-rifle Kalashnikov-ammunition, F-1 grenades and 122-millimeter Katyusha rockets. On the side of some of the cases inside the containers the words “parts of bulldozers” was written.
[Update: See this report at The Muqata for more details, pictures and video of the 500 tons of arms carried by the ship!]
In shipping arms to Hezbollah, Iran is violating international law and UN Security Council resolutions. It will be interesting to see if there are diplomatic repercussions for Iran, but probably the UN will follow Syria’s lead, which has called Israel’s Navy ‘official pirates‘.
Those who are concerned with peace should consider the behavior of Iran. First, let’s look at some of the actions of Iran’s wholly owned terrorism subsidiary, Hezbollah, to which the following actions are generally attributed:
- The 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon in which 299 members of the Multilateral Force, including 220 US Marines, were killed
- The bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut, also in 1983, in which 60 people were killed
- The 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847, in which US Navy diver Robert Stethem was murdered
- All or some of the 96 hostages taken in Lebanon between 1982 and 1992, of which 10 died in captivity, some by torture
- A 1992 suicide attack at the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in which 29 died
- The 1994 bombing of the Jewish Mutual Association building, also in Buenos Aires, in which 94 people were murdered
- A war of attrition against Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon from 1982-2000, including an attack that killed seven in 1993
- Sporadic Katyusha rocket barrages from Lebanon at Israeli cities; in 1996, the amount of damage from these reached a level that provoked Israel to bombard South Lebanon (Operation Grapes of Wrath)
- A cross-border raid in 2000 in which three Israeli soldiers were abducted and killed
- A similar raid in 2006 in which seven Israelis were killed accompanied by rocket fire into Israel, which provoked the Second Lebanon War
- Attacks against coalition troops in Iraq in 2006
I may have missed some.
By arming, training and financing Hezbollah, the Islamic Republic of Iran has participated in armed aggression against one UN member state, terrorism against the citizens of several others, and antisemitic violence.
In addition, Iran continues to violate the nonproliferation treaty that it signed, pressing forward with its development of nuclear weapons.
So President Obama today, on the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran by Islamic ‘students’, the beginning of the horrific ordeal of 52 Americans for 444 days, strongly rebuked Iran for these violations and for its murderous and disruptive role in world affairs.
Oops… No he didn’t!
Here’s what he said instead:
This event [the 1979 hostage crisis] helped set the United States and Iran on a path of sustained suspicion, mistrust and confrontation… I have made it clear that the United States of America wants to move beyond this past, and seeks a relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran based upon mutual interests and mutual respect.