Monday, June 14, 2010
Iran to confront Israel on the high seas: first Iranian aid ship leaves for Gaza
by Larry Geller
Iran is sending aid ships to blockaded Gaza, state radio said on Monday -- a move likely to be considered provocative by Israel which accuses Tehran of arming the Palestinian enclave's Islamist rulers, Hamas.
One ship left port on Sunday and another will depart by Friday, loaded with food, construction material and toys, the report said. The boats would be part of international efforts to break Israel's isolation of the Gaza Strip. [Reuters, Iranian aid ships head for Gaza, 6/14/2010]
Two Iranian cargoes of humanitarian aid for Gaza will leave next week and one of them will be shipped through Istanbul, the official Iranian news agency, IRNA reported Monday.
The announcement quoted Mohammad Ali Nouraee, an aid official, who said one cargo will be sent to Turkey, and then shipped to Gaza from Istanbul while the other will leave from the port of Khorramshahr.
In addition three Iranian parliamentarians are planning to visit Gaza through Egypt, Iranian news agencies reported Monday. [Jerusalem Post, Iranian flotilla leaving for Gaza, 6/14/2010]
Turkey recently, along with Brazil, arranged a nuclear swap deal with Iran in opposition to US/UN sanction moves. If a Turkish ship carries Iranian aid to Gaza, it would be signs of a new balance of power in the Mid-East.
Now the US needs to join "break the blockade flotilla". Thanks to Turkey and now Iran doing the humanitarian act for the sieged Gazans. Israel has no right to deny the aid to Gaza.