The ship that brought cargo of death to Cyprus

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The ship that brought cargo of death to Cyprus

THE MONCHEGORSK, the Cypriot-flagged ship on which the munitions were being carried as cargo was bound for Syria and originating from Iran, was apprehended on January 20 in the Red Sea by US warships. Following an on-board search suspicious military material was reported and the ship was ordered to dock at the port of Limassol.

The United States and Israel maintained that the cargo was in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747 which sanctions Iranian arms exports. Israel claimed that the intended destination of the cargo was Palestinian organisations in the Gaza strip, a claim that Iran denied.

The government’s direct involvement seems to have begun on January 27, when attempts were made to contact the ship and instruct it to dock at Limassol.

A team of Cypriot experts proceeded with two inspections of the ship’s cargo on January 29 and February 2. Cyprus then requested from the UN Sanctions Committee to assess whether the findings of the inspections lay within the provisions of the UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions on Iran and sought its recommendations on how to proceed.

Once the breach of UNSC resolutions was confirmed the cargo – 98 containers — was confiscated and unloaded onto the island on February 13.