Friday, November 6, 2009

The Philadelphia Bulletin: Syria Denies Transporting Weapons, Blames Seized Boat On Piracy

by David Bedein

Jerusalem - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem disputed Israel's claim that a ship sailing from Syria to Iran was carrying weapons in a press conference held on Thursday in Tehran.

Mr. Muallem, instead, said the ship was carrying goods to Iran.

"The report of the seizure of the Iranian ship carrying weapons to Syria in the vicinity of the Zionist entity is baseless," he argued.

He added that the ship was a victim of piracy.

"There are pirates that take over ships under the pretense of searches and try to halt the passage of commercial vessels," he said.

Iran also denied reports that it had attempted to send weapons to Hezbollah in the ship.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told the Iranian news agency Irana: "The report is incorrect. The ship was making its way from Syria to Iran carrying goods, not weapons."

Mr. Mottaki argued that "Syria and Iran are peace loving nations which are interested in the stability of the region."

View the original article in the Philadelphia Bulletin

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