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Israel to show long-range rockets from `Iran arms ship`

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 03:54

Eilat: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was today to showcase a shipment of arms allegedly sent to Gaza from Iran in a bid to show the world Tehran`s "true face".

As hoards of journalists and foreign military attaches gathered on the quayside at a naval base in the southern resort town of Eilat, the weapons seized during last week`s Red Sea raid were laid out in full view.

On board the Panamanian-flagged Klos-C, troops found 40 long-range M-302 rockets, 181 122mm mortar shells and approximately 400,000 7.62-calibre rounds.

Also on display were sacks of cement under which the weapons were hidden. On the sacks, written in English, were the names "Fars and Khozestan Cement Co" and "Hormozgan Cement Company" - both of them the names of firms based in Iran.
The Klos-C itself was too large to dock at the naval port, with Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, telling that the ship and its crew was likely to be released "in the coming few days."

Israeli investigators do not believe the crew was aware of the vessel`s true cargo.

Israel has said it has "solid and incriminating evidence" that Iran planned and executed the shipment, with the aim of sending the arms to Palestinian militants in Gaza.

But so far, it has not made such evidence public, with Netanyahu suggesting the proof would be shown on Monday.

Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon and navy chief Vice Admiral Ram Rutberg will also speak at the news conference.

Iran has flatly denied any involvement with the shipment, which the Israeli army said was carrying missiles "capable of striking anywhere in Israel".

Netanyahu yesterday accused Tehran of "brazenly lying" about its ties to the weapons cache, which analysts suggested were being sent to Islamic Jihad, a militant group operating in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

First Published: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 03:54
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