Våpenbeslaget utenfor Kypros idag er ikke enestående. Israel fører en stille krig for å stanse våpenleveransene til Hamas og Hizbollah og det skjer med NATOs fulle støtte.
Israel kunne ikke lykkes så godt hvis det ikke var for dette samarbeidet. Hva mon norsk UD tenker om dette samtidig som man stiller seg kritisk til israelsk krigføring? Flåten som skal passe på somaliske pirater holder nok også et øye på Irans våpensmugling.
Det er smugling, ikke lovlig last, for FN har forbudt våpenleveranser til Hizsbollah og Hamas.
This war began far from Israel’s beaches, in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. In January, in the midst of the war in Gaza, an attack of a fleet of weapons-carrying ships sailing from Iran on its way to Gaza was attributed to the Israel Air Force, as were the sinking of several similar ships.
Israel’s daring, in terms of its actions against Iranian arms smuggling, is supported by an international diplomatic embrace, and intelligence. The diplomatic legitimacy and the legal justification for Israel’s actions stem from United Nations Security Council resolutions forbidding Iran from exporting weapons to Syria, to be transferred into the hands of Hezollah. Israel is acting with the full cooperation of international NATO forces that patrol the Indian Ocean, Red Sea and Mediterranean, in efforts to battle arms smuggling.
The international diplomatic support is manifested in Israel’s ability to pinpoint weapons shipments coming from Iran, in cooperation with American intelligence bodies and those of France and other countries acting toward the same goal. The commander of the Israel Navy, who gave a press conference Wednesday afternoon, said in his briefing that the ship was discovered as a result of routine patrols and observation ? these claims could merely be the navy’s way of explaining the fact that it had previous intelligence regarding the ship’s cargo which allowed them to carry out precise surveillance and intercept the ship. If in fact this is a case of previous intelligence, it demonstrates good intelligence capabilities, starting possibly from the ship’s point of origin in the port of Bandar Abbas in Iran, onto the Egyptian port which served as a transfer point for the delivery.
The method used to transfer the weapons indicates that Iran is under growing international pressure regarding its weapons shipments to Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah. This pressure stems form the Security Council resolutions that imposed international sanctions on Iran’s state-run shipping company as a result of Iran’s refusal to abandon its controversial nuclear program. The Iranians know that they can’t use Iranian ships to transport these weapons, so they tend to lease foreign ships, as was the case last month with a German ship, waving a German flag.
In this instance, in order to prevent surveillance, the Iranians used a ship that appeared to carry civilian cargo out of the Iranian port, headed for Egypt. The Iranians believed that it would be easier to conceal the arms shipment if they used the Egyptian port as the point of transfer, loading the ship with the weapons there, hoping that it wouldn’t be traced back to Iran. But they failed.