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  • » 01/30/2009, 00.00

    MIDDLE EAST

    Cyprus and Egypt stop Iranian ships with weapons for Hamas and Hezbollah



    Cypriot president Demetris Christofia confirms the detainment: the ship was "in contravention of security council resolutions." On January 28, Egypt blocked an Iranian ship at the entrance to the Suez Canal: it was transporting weapons for Hamas. The Egyptian foreign minister accuses Iran of fomenting tension in order to escape pressure from the West on the nuclear question.

    Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Cypriot authorities have stopped an Iranian ship loaded with weapons and traveling towards Syria. A diplomatic source for the European Union says that Cyprus acted on instructions from the United States and Israel.

    The incident took place yesterday. The ship, which was Iranian but flying the Cypriot flag, was ordered to dock at Limassol for inspection. On board, Cypriot authorities found a load of weapons, including heavy artillery, rockets, and documents. According to Jerusalem, the weapons were being sent to Hezbollah in Lebanon or to Hamas, in the Gaza Strip.

    Cypriot president Demetris Christofia confirmed the detainment of a ship, because the cargo seemed to be "in contravention of security council resolutions," according to which ships leaving from Iran are not permitted to transport weapons. He did not want to provide any additional details, but he confirmed the efforts of his country to deal with the question "in a responsible manner." He said that any other comments could "cause more problems," but confirmed that "we are investigating to see what it is carrying."

    On January 28, another Iranian cargo ship transporting weapons to Hamas was blocked by the Egyptian authorities at the entrance to the Suez Canal. Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit criticized Hamas, Iran, and Hezbollah of working to fostering the clashes in Gaza in order to provoke conflict all over the Middle East. According to the minister, the situation of tension in the area is to the advantage of Iran, "which is trying to use its cards to escape Western pressure . . . on the nuclear file."

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    See also

    09/01/2009 ISRAEL – PALESTINE
    United Nations votes for truce but bombs and rockets continue in Gaza
    Fourteen of the council's 15 members vote in favour of a Security Council resolution. United States abstains. Text calls for a ceasefire, free passage for humanitarian aid, and an Israeli pullout. It also condemns all acts of terrorism and violence against civilians and calls for greater monitoring of arms and ammunition smuggling into the Strip. The number of dead is growing among Palestinians (750) and Israelis (16). UNRWA stops relief operations after one of its drivers is killed. The International Red Cross accuses Israel of not helping the wounded.

    12/10/2009 PALESTINE – UNITED NATIONS
    Mahmoud Abbas backtracks, says postponing vote on Goldstone Report a mistake
    The president of the Palestinian National Authority disowns decision taken a week ago in Geneva. Meanwhile the signing of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal set for 25 October in Cairo is called off.

    17/07/2009 KOREA – UNITED NATIONS
    Pyongyang ends six-party nuclear talks as UN imposes new sanctions
    North Korea’s No 2 leader declares a ‘permanent end’ to talks, alleging a violation of ‘national sovereignty.’ He threatens further development in the country’s nuclear programme. The UN Security Council unanimously freezes assets of North Korean officials and state companies.

    06/03/2006 IRAN – UNITED NATIONS
    International nuclear agency to decide Iran's fate today

    The spectre of referral to the UN Security Council is looming. Thousands of demonstrators in Tehran have upheld the right to pacific nuclear technology. The US and Israel: "If it goes on like this, the regime will have to face serious consequences. We are ready to take all the necessary measures to prevent Iran from having atomic weapons."



    11/01/2006 IRAN
    World begins to react to Tehran's decision to restart nuclear research
    EU3 foreign ministers are scheduled to meet tomorrow. China is hopeful that Iran-EU3 talks might prove useful. Russian foreign minister in Moscow says he is concerned, might not use veto in Secuirty Council.



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