By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
JERUSALEM – After the IDF announced it has seized earlier this morning a ship carrying a weapons cargo destined to the Gaza Strip, Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon said that Iran was responsible and that it works constantly to destabilize the region. “Weapons of strategic significance were discovered on the Iranian vessel, including rockets capable of reaching various distances. The arms were destined to reach terror organizations in the Gaza Strip via Sudan. The IDF and Israeli intelligence’s interception of the vessel successfully prevented the smuggling of these weapons whose ultimate purpose was to target Israeli civilians and disrupt life in Israel.”
“It has once again become clear that Iran continues to be the greatest exporter of terror in the world, with the express purpose of destabilizing the Middle East. This, while in complete violation of international law and abuse of open maritime trading routes. Iran supplies financial support, arms and training to terror organizations in the region and around the world, and its failed effort to transfer the weapons discovered this morning, is additional evidence. The Iranian regime continues to deceive the world; while it shows its smiling face it continues to be the biggest threat to world peace,” Yaalon said.
“This Iranian attempt to transfer weapons to the Gaza Strip is additional evidence that Gaza is a terrorist entity under Iranian auspices preparing to strike deep into Israel.”
Yaalon expressed his appreciation to the IDF and its commanders who carried out their operation smoothly and professionally. “We will continue to act responsibly and with caution, and take all necessary measures at our disposal to ensure the security of Israel’s citizens,” Yaalon conclude.
Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu, who is currently touring the US, spoke with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and Mossad Director Tamir Pardo and praised them for the quality intelligence that led to the action and for the precision with the operation was carried out. Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “I would like to commend the IDF, the intelligence services of the State of Israel and – of course – the navy commanders and personnel who carried out a perfect operation to intercept a secret Iranian weapons ship. At a time when it is talking to the major powers, Iran smiles and says all sorts of nice things, the same Iran is sending deadly weapons to terrorist organizations and is doing so via a ramified network of secret operations in order to send rockets, missiles and other deadly weapons that will be used to harm innocent citizens. This is the true Iran and this state cannot possess nuclear weapons. We will continue to whatever is necessary in order to defend Israel’s citizens.”