Below John refers to Israel’s seizure of weapons from Iran bound for Syria and Hezbollah on board the Francop. The weapons seized on the ship included some 3,000 rockets of various types, as well as 60-millimeter mortars, 7.62-rifle Kalashnikov-ammunition, F-1 grenades and 122-millimeter Katyusha rockets. The ship’s cache was reportedly ten times the size that of the Karine A’s that Israel seized in 2002.
How did Israel do it? Israel must have some intelligence that led to the operation, but the Jerusalem Post emphasizes due diligence:
After several days of the Israeli military monitoring the ship, IDF Navy Seals boarded it in the middle of the night. Suspicions were raised after the Seals uncovered certificates within containers that documented Iran as the point of origin for some containers, with Syria as the intended destination.
Upon receiving permission from relevant authorities, including the political establishment, the seals commandeered the ship and brought it to Israel. When the vessel was already en route to Israeli shores, Israel apprised the government of Antigua and the company that owns the ship of the situation, said the officials.
After leaving the Bandar-Abbas port in Iran, the cargo was shipped through the Suez Canal, unloaded at the Mediterranean port of Damietta in Egypt and then loaded onto the ship that was captured by the navy. The intended destination was the port of Latakia in Syria, with the contents of the shipment to be sent to Hizbullah, they said.
The ship’s crew was unaware of the weapons on board, as the armaments were disguised as humanitarian aid and hidden behind sacks of polyethylene.
According to the Israeli military, containers aboard the ship were owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines Group and each container contained sacks filled with 25 kilos of silicon made by the Natural Petrol Company in Iran. Upon opening the containers used for smuggling the weapons, only the sacks were visible, but behind the sacks lay weapons. The Jerusalem Post article on the seizure includes the video below showing the concealment of the weapons.
One would think that somewhere along the line President Obama might get a clue. Yesterday President Obama issued a statement suggesting that he’s more than one fry short of a happy meal on the subject of Iran:
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. We do not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs. We have condemned terrorist attacks against Iran. We have recognized Iran’s international right to peaceful nuclear power. We have demonstrated our willingness to take confidence-building steps along with others in the international community. We have accepted a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency to meet Iran’s request for assistance in meeting the medical needs of its people. We have made clear that if Iran lives up to the obligations that every nation has, it will have a path to a more prosperous and productive relationship with the international community
Addressed to the world’s leading supporter of terrorism and enemy of the United States, this statement really is an astonishing embarrassment. Michael Ledeen comments: “This is Jimmy Carter all over again, and just as Carter’s appeasement of the Islamic Republic led to the death of countless innocents, in Iran and around the world, so Obama’s appeasement will do the same. He, and his administration, are accomplices to evil.” Ledeen also quotes a biting message from Iran via Twitter: “Gee the people of Iran seek to really CHANGE things and Obama says, let’s negotiate w/ the Nazis.”