Berlin: A German shipping company stopped
one of its vessels on the high seas after a tip-off that it
was ferrying Iranian arms to Syria, the news weekly Der
Spiegel reported on Saturday on its website.
The Atlantic Cruiser, owned by Emden-based Bockstiegel
but leased by a Ukrainian firm called White Whale Shipping,
had loaded the arms in Djibouti, where they had been brought
by an Iranian vessel, the report said.
Opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad`s regime
revealed that the Atlantic Cruiser was halted 80 kilometres
(50 miles) from the Syrian port of Tartus on Friday, Der
"We had been told that the cargo contained pumps and
other machinery of that sort," the magazine quoted Torsten
Lueddeke of freight handlers C.E.G. Bulk Chartering as saying.
Iran is under a UN arms embargo imposed in 2007 because
of its nuclear activities while Western countries have
declared a similar embargo against Iranian ally Syria since
its bloody crackdown on dissent began a year ago.
It was not clear what had happened to the Atlantic
Cruiser. At one stage it was headed for the Turkish port of
Iskunderun, Der Spiegel said. (AFP)