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No weapons on Iranian vessel? (archives)
Photo: Avi Roccah
Iranian aid flotilla postponed
Senior Red Crescent official says departure of vessel delayed due to lack of coordination, new date yet to be set. 'The ship isn't carrying any weapons,' he adds
The Iranian Red Crescent organization has decided to postpone the departure of its aid vessel to the Gaza Strip, a senior organization official said Monday.

 

According to the original plan, the ship was slated to join another aid vessel in an attempt to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

 

Mohammad Javad Jafarian said that a new date for the ship's departure had yet to be set. "The reason for the delay is a change made by the international Red Cross in the type of cargo and lack of international coordination."

 

It is unclear whether Israel's decision to ease the siege on Gaza had anything to do with the Iranian flotilla's delay.

 

Iranians have drawn lessons from the Navy raid on the Turkish-owned Marmara ship and have made it clear that the Iranian flotilla has no military characteristics.

 

"The Iranian ship is humanitarian and is not carrying any weapons. Therefore, any aggression will be in violation of international law at sea," Jafarian was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

 

The Iranian Red Crescent announced earlier this month that it had decided to send two aid ships to Gaza and called for volunteers to act as relief workers and accompany the vessels.

 

The first Iranian ship, organized by a non-governmental organization called "the Iranian company for the protection of the Palestinian nation" has already set sail. It is unclear whether it will wait for the second vessel or continue towards the Suez Canal. The number of passengers on the ship and the nature of the cargo it is carrying are also unclear.

 

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