The West’s hypocrisy at Iran’s cover-up of weapons smuggling to Gaza as well as its nukes

Iranian weaponry seized from the Klos C ship intended for terrorists in Gaza

So what was on that Iranian weapons ship, the Klos C, seized by the Israeli Navy in international waters off Sudan last week? Here is the full shopping list:

  • 40 M-302 missiles,
  • 181 120-mm mortars, and
  • 400,000 7.62 caliber bullets

We can be pretty sure none of those items were mentioned on the ship’s official manifest since these armaments were hidden inside sacks of cement:

A combined task-force of sailors, combat engineers and ordnance experts has begun inspecting the containers offloaded from the Klos-C, and may uncover more munitions over the next several days.

Naval commandos seized the vessel on Wednesday in the Red Sea between Eritrea and Sudan, and it was escorted into Eilat on Saturday by two Israeli warships.

On Wednesday, soldiers had carried out a preliminary inspection of the ship and found several dozen advanced Syrian M-302 missiles, with a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) and a payload of up to 170 kilograms (375 pounds). The missiles were hidden in shipping containers also carrying sacks of concrete with Iranian markings.

The IDF said the Iranian shipment was destined for the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

From the IDF Spokesman’s blog:

“We have solid information that proves Iran’s relationship with the shipment,” a senior IDF Intelligence officer said Monday. He spoke after a combined IDF task force from various units inspected the Klos-C and unloaded the Iranian weapons shipment concealed aboard the ship. “Firstly, the containers were sealed in Iran, and they have Iranian authenticity seals on them, including seals of the Iranian postal company. The cement bags that were used to hide the weapons were clearly marked as coming from Iran,” he said.

[…]

“In the cargo hold of the ship you can see that 100 out of 150 of the containers were transferred from Iran to Iraq,” the Intelligence officer said. “There they added additional containers, and changed the loading form in order to make it look like the entire shipment came from Iraq. This can be cross-referenced with the documents that we discovered on the ship. Generally speaking, Iran was trying to hide its involvement in any form.”

Now that this weapons seizure has been made fully public, where is the world’s reaction of outrage to this blatant violation of international law by Iran?

Rows and rows of mortars seized from the Klos C

This is of course a rhetorical question for besides congratulations from the United States, there has been a loud silence from the rest of the “civilized” world.  Despite the EU’s Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton’s current presence in Iran to discuss a possible nuclear deal, she did not make any mention of the seized missiles.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blasted the West for its hypocrisy in turning a blind eye to Iran’s hypocrisy:

With a grave expression, the prime minister blasted Western leaders for “smilingly shaking hands” with Iranian leaders even as the missiles were being unloaded at Israel’s southern Eilat port — a shipment as heavily masked, Netanyahu said, as Iran’s nuclear program.

He was referring to a European Union delegation led by foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who arrived in Iran Sunday for her first visit to the country – the first European diplomat in her position to do so since 2008 — and held a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.

Calling on the international to wake up and see the truth behind “Iran’s fake smiles … before it’s too late,” Netanyahu said world powers must stop Iran from achieving military nuclear capabilities.

“They would like to continue to build up the illusion that Iran has changed course, but the facts we see on this pier prove the exact opposite,” Netanyahu said.

He said there was conclusive proof, including testimony by the ship’s crew, that the weapons containers were loaded onto the Klos-C in Bandar Abbas, Iran’s largest port. He said the ship’s bills of lading, both real and fabricated, showed that Iran had tried to mask the contents of the shipment — precisely as it masks its nuclear efforts.

“Just as Iran tried to camouflage this deadly weapons shipment, Iran camouflages its military nuclear program,” he said.

“The international community would like to ignore Iran’s continued criminal hostility; the massacre it is helping to commit in Syria; its support for terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon,” said Netanyahu.

“There are those who would prefer that we not hold this news conference here today,” he added, addressing the foreign press in English. “They feel uncomfortable. They would prefer that we continue to nurture the illusion” of a new, moderate Iran, he added.

The prime minister said that the West was also keen to overlook human rights violations within Iran, such as the hundreds of executions that take place in the country each year.

He said that when it came to Israel, on the other hand, the international community loudly condemned even the smallest violation.

“The condemnations I’ve heard from the international community in the face of this murderous shipment have been limp, few and far between,” Netanyahu said.

“[But] if we build a balcony in some neighborhood in Jerusalem, harsh criticism is heard from the international community. This hypocrisy is not only morally unacceptable, it is also dangerous, because Iran camouflages its military nuclear program just as it tried to camouflage this deadly arms shipment.”

He warned that while the shipment seized on board the Klos-C contained long-range missiles, future shipments could contain nuclear materials, which Iran could send “to any port in the world.”

Itamar Rabinovitch explains the difference between the world’s reaction to the seizure of the Klos C and when the weapons-smuggling ship the Karine A was caught by Israel in 2002:

Karine A was a boat carrying weapons from Iran to Gaza that was intercepted by the Israeli navy in the midst of the Second Intifada. It affected President Bush’s outlook and policy in two important ways. For a president totally immersed in “the war on terror” it provided proof that Yasser Arafat was directly involved in terrorism. To boot Arafat was also caught lying to the President. It was not the only factor shaping Bush’s policy during the next two years, but it did play a major role in his adopting the view that Arafat was part of the problem rather than part of the solution and in forging his close cooperation with Sharon’s government.

For a number of reasons this scenario is not likely to repeat itself in the context of Washington’s evolving relationship with Iran. When the interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program was signed, it was widely speculated that it was part of a larger rapprochement with Teheran.

[…]

Washington is often described as “a one crisis town.” The crisis that dominates the agenda is obviously the Ukrainian one.

<

p>I can’t say I’m surprised at the world’s indifference to the attempted missile smuggling by Iran. The West are practically crawling to the Iranians to persuade them to sign a deal, any deal, so that business and petro-dollars can begin flowing again, and anything that gets in the way of that deal – i.e. pesky Israel and the little matter of a few firecrackers missiles – is going to be determinedly ignored.

The only way this will get any attention is if or when Israel hits back or takes some kind of military action. Or, as Netanyahu says, when it builds a house in Judea or Samaria.

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9 Responses to The West’s hypocrisy at Iran’s cover-up of weapons smuggling to Gaza as well as its nukes

  1. The most recent Iranian weapons shipment is bad enough, but Iran’s persistent lying — and the tendency of most of the “civilized world” to ignore it — are worse. As a preface to an article posted here, I commented,

    “Assume, at least for the sake of argument, that irrefutable evidence shows that Iran knew what the ship contained and that she is now lying about it. Lying has been her consistent practice vis a vis her nuke activity and continuing to lie is not a rational basis for crediting material statements she has made or later makes during the P5+1 negotiations. Why should negotiations proceed on that basis, allowing Iran to continue to garner funds and other types of international support which make effective sanctions highly unlikely to be reinstated?

    “Defense Secretary Hagel’s spokesman reiterated “the United States’ commitment to holding Iran accountable for its destabilizing activities in the region, even as we continue efforts to resolve our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program through diplomacy.” Destabilizing activities are bad. However, habitual lying as to matters material to the P5+1 negotiations is even more consequential for those negotiations. If Iran’s persistent lying is ignored, how can the U.S. “resolve” her “concerns over Iran’s nuclear program through diplomacy,” unless her concerns are so ephemeral that they can be “resolved” by ignoring them?”

    • anneinpt says:

      Well said Dan. It’s incomprehensible to me how the West can keep negotiating with Iran when not a word they say can be trusted. Let’s assume a deal can be arranged – how can Iran be trusted to keep its side of the deal? Isn’t that basic “Haggling 101” for your average tourist in a Middle East souk? How can they be so dumb?

      As I said earlier, the West are not so dumb. They are simply greedy, and if signing a pseudo-deal is the key to renewing business, then that’s what they’re going to do, ethics be damned, along with any victims of Iranian terrorism.

  2. peteca1 says:

    Mr. Netanyahu made a very good point today … in the press staement you are referring to. It did get reasonable news coverage in the USA. It clearly points to a tremendous bias in much of the global community against Israel right now. However, Anne, as you have correctly noted – this bias exists more at an official level. There are still many strong supports of Israel at the personal level.

    We seem to be living in a world that will do almost anything to avoid “creating a scene”. Even if creating a scene involves stopping major breeches of diplomatic protocols, or flagrant human rights abuses, nobody wants to do anything. Look at Putin – he will essentially get away with invading Crimea. The Iranian nuke issue is almost dead in the world media now. Climate change is taking place (slowly), but a comprehensive agreement cannot be enacted. No-one wants to lift a finger … if it possibly risks hurting corporate profits or upsetting special interests.

    Pete, USA

    • anneinpt says:

      Very good points Pete, especially your description of “not wanting to create a scene”. That encapsulates the issue precisely, especially your last sentence “if it possibly risks hurting corporate profits or upsetting special interests.”.

  3. Yenta Press says:

    When the west BEST representatives are 0bamAshton
    What would you expect?

  4. Earl says:

    Best for Netanyahu to use this as the pretext to break off- immediately- all “peace talks” with the “Palestinians”. This, especially with today’s (non-) revelation that Iran was responsible for the Locherbie 747 bombing. Obama/Rice/Powers/Kerry/et al. look like utter and complete naifs, playing in a game far above their slight competencies.

    • anneinpt says:

      Earl, I wish you were the PM’s advisor on national security. Despite Bibi’s reputation as Mr. Hardline and Mr. Security, he really is a bit of a wimp in the face of international pressure.

      Here is Arlene Kushner’s take on Bibi’s position vis a vis the Palestinians:

      And so, you may ask, Nu? What’s happening on Israel’s part.

      Well, our prime minister, who forthrightly and properly tells the world to stop deceiving itself with regard to Iran and face the truth, will not take his own advice in this context.

      What Netanyahu is doing – and this continues to be his MO – is to bend over backwards to show the world that he is trying his best to work on possible plans that might succeed.

      No point in belaboring it here, but he spoke about how we will have to relinquish some settlements, and then, following a backlash from the right wing of the coalition, said that no, not a single settlement would be dismantled. Most recently he proposed some obscure plan modeled on the very complex border arrangement that exists between Belgium and Holland, with each having enclaves within the other nation; totally inapplicable to our situation.

      I do not believe that he believes for a second that any of this will ever materialize, and I find myself with an inclination to run my head into the wall.

      I do understand that he anticipates that the PA intends to blame us for the failure of the talks and head for the UN. What he is trying to do is mitigate the negative world responses – both legally and in terms of BDS – that we may have to contend with. But we’re going to get smacked no matter what he does, and I long for him to call a press conference and say, “Enough! Look at the evidence of the failure of PA cooperation.”

      If you don’t read Arlene Kushner regularly already I highly recommend her. I strive to reach her level.

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