Seized arms ship
Some of weapons confiscated
Photo: Avi Roccah
The Iranian arms ship seized by the Israel Defense Forces was discovered thanks to American activity, the London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Friday, quoting Israeli sources.
On Thursday, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi praised Mossad agents for helping obtain the intelligence which led to the vessel's capture.
According to the Arab report, the Americans spotted a suspicious Iranian ship entering the Gulf of Oman and docking at Dubai's Jebel Ali port in mid October. The boat belonged to Iran's national shipping company, IRISL.
The US reportedly informed Israel of the ship. According to the report, Israel suggested bombing the ship in the Red Sea, but the Americans rejected the idea.
Earlier this week it was reported that the Iranians had exerted great efforts in an attempt to mislead intelligence officials monitoring the shipment. One of the deceiving moves was to unload the explosives in an Egyptian port and load them on the Francop ship, which was eventually caught.
On Thursday, the Hezbollah organization denied any link to the arms ship and condemned the activity of "Israeli pirates operation in international waters." Syria and Iran also disassociated themselves from the vessel, claiming that the ship had been transporting goods from Syria to Iran and that Israel was disrupting international commerce activity.
Egyptian sources at the Damietta Port, the ship's last docking point, said Thursday that it had been loaded with food products and nothing else.