An Iranian official denied an Israeli report that Tehran had sent “advanced weaponry” for Palestinian terrorists in Gaza on a ship intercepted by Israel in the Red Sea on Wednesday.
“We completely deny this report which is totally without foundation,” an unnamed military official said, quoted on state-run Iranian television’s Arabic-language Al-Alam channel.
Israel said earlier that its navy intercepted a cargo vessel, the “Klos-C,” in international waters between Sudan and Eritrea that was carrying “an Iranian shipment of advanced weapons.”
The Syrian-made weapons were shipped overland to Iran and then loaded onto the ship, meant to dock in Port Sudan, after which the weapons would have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip through the Sinai Peninsula.
IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, said that, despite the deep rift between Iran and Hamas, the weapons cargo “was meant for all terror organizations, including Hamas.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed his skepticism Thursday at Israeli and US claims that the Israeli Navy had seized a ship carrying a cache of illicit Iranian arms.
“An Iranian ship carrying arms for Gaza,” read a tweet from his official account. “Captured just in time for annual AIPAC anti Iran campaign. Amazing Coincidence! Or same failed lies.”