Monday, March 10, 2014

The Klos-C missiles

The Panamanian cargo vessel Klos-C that was intercepted in the Red Sea 1,500 km from Israel, steamed into Eilat harbor Saturday under Israel military naval escort. Its cargo was unloaded and exhibited for the world to see, if it cares to. The cargo from Bandar Abbas in Iran to Port Sudan destined for Gaza, was loaded with cement from Iraq, but secreted within the crates were 40 long-range missiles, 180 mortar shells and hundreds of thousands of bullets. With the missiles Hamas could have targeted anywhere within Israel, including Netanya where I am sitting writing this. It is not exaggerating to say that if this shipment had reached Gaza it could have triggered a war if they had blanketed Israel with these missilies and killed hundreds of Israelis. Thanks to the excellent intelligence of Israel and our security forces this war was avoided.

There is no doubt that this is part of Iran's plan to bring the war to Israel, since they have also tried to transfer such missiles to Hizbollah in Lebanon. But twice the IAF has attacked and destroyed convoys of trucks taking missiles from Syria into Lebanon. Although Sheikh Nasrallah threatened to retaliate for these attacks he has refrained from doing so, mainly because he is busy with Hizbollah fighting in Syria to support the Assad regime. No doubt it irks the powers that be in Iran that while the Muslim world is convulsed by war and violence, Israel is a peaceful island in their midst.

PM Netanyahu suggested at the Cabinet Meeting Sunday morning that EU Foreign Secretary Catherine Ashton might want to bring up the missile delivery with her hosts while she is visiting Tehran to discuss the Iranian nuclear program. Ashton looked suitably Muslim wearing a headscarf as she kowtowed to the Iranian government representatives. However, out of sensitivity for her hosts feelings she failed to raise the missile ship issue or anything else that might have caused them any concern. Iranian FM Zarif made clear that any agreement would have to conform to Iran's national interests.


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