UN envoy Reuben sends Ban complaint letter for ‘Victoria'

Grievance filed with Security Council says attempted transfer of weapons from Iran to Gaza via Syria violates multiple UN resolutions.

By JORDANA HORN, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
March 19, 2011 16:33
1 minute read.
The Victoria followed by Navy speedboat

Victoria Raid 311. (photo credit: IDF)

NEW YORK – Israeli Ambassador to the UN Meron Reuben sent a letter of complaint to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council Friday after the IDF’s interception of the ship Victoria and its cargo of weapons last week.

Reuben called on the Security Council to “take firm action to prevent arms smuggling to terrorist organizations and to prevent the ongoing illicit transfers of arms from Iran,” adding that “the latest incident reflects a growing and intensifying pattern of grave breaches of binding Security Council resolutions and international obligations by state sponsors of terrorism, namely Iran and Syria.”

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The Victoria contained containers with approximately 40 tons of military equipment, munitions and weapons, including antiship C-704 missiles, radar and fire control systems, mortar shells and small arms. Reuben sent pictures of the ship’s contents along with his letters.

Reuben called the cargo “a direct and imminent threat to the safety and security of the State of Israel and its citizens, who continue to suffer incessant rocket and mortar attacks originating from the Gaza Strip.”

The letter references numerous other instances of arms shipments by Iran and Syria, including RDX explosives from Iran bound for Syria found in an Italian port in September 2010 and several containers of Iranian weapons from an operation led by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards discovered a few months ago in Nigeria.

Iran and Syria continue to violate international maritime laws and guidelines, Reuben said in his letter.

Israel expects the Security Council to discuss the case of the Victoria when it convenes in the next few days to discuss implementation of the 90 day report of its Iran Sanctions Committee.


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