Cyprus: Iran ship can leave without suspect cargo

February 18, 2009 20:10

A Cypriot official said Wednesday a ship suspected of transporting Iranian arms to Gaza was free to leave the island, as its cargo had been unloaded. Senior Merchant Shipping Department official Andreas Constantinou said it's now up to the owners of the Cyprus-flagged Monchegorsk to decide when and where to go. The Monchegorsk has been anchored off Limassol for five days. More than 90 containers of what Cypriot officials only described as "material that could be used to make munitions" were unloaded and stored at a naval base. The government said the ship breached a UN ban on Iranian arms exports. The US military said it found artillery shells and other arms aboard the ship it said was headed for Syria after stopping it last month in the Red Sea.

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