NY Times Misses Iranian ConnectionNovember 5, 2009 10:23 by BackSpin Editor
NY Times readers can be forgiven for not believing Iran is connected to arms boat seized en route to Syria. Reporter Myra Noveck writes:
News reports quoted the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, and other officials saying the ship had been carrying the arms from Iran to Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, but officials released no evidence to support those claims.
Heh. AP detailed that evidence:
Open crates from a cargo ship seized Wednesday by Israel revealed dark green missiles inside. Containers from the vessel bore writing in English that said “I.R. Iranian Shipping Lines Group.” . . . .
Some of the weapons were hidden in the Francop’s containers behind stacked bags of polyethylene labeled in English “NPC National Petrochemical Company,” and the flame logo used by both the company and the Iranian Petroleum Ministry . . . .
The Francop’s containers were carefully unloaded on army forklifts to avoid accidental detonation. Some of the containers had the initials “I.R.I.S.L.” printed on one side and the fuller title, “I.R. (Islamic Republic of) Iran Shipping Lines Group” on the other. Explosives experts and dog-sniffing units examined the haul.
The Israeli military said cargo certificates showed the ship departed an Iranian port for Syria, from where the weapons would be transferred to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The military did not show the documents, and Syria denied the vessel was carrying weapons.