By JPOST.COM STAFF
Russian prosecutors found no suspicious materials on the ship Arctic Sea despite media reports it was carrying the advanced S-300 missile defense for Iran, Russian newswires reported on Saturday.
"The ship was searched with the help of modern appliances, inside and outside. There was nothing but timber and lumber. Nothing that could compromise Russian Federation was found," a spokesman for the Russian Prosecutor General's Investigative Committee said, according to an Interfax news agency report cited by Reuters.
The Arctic Sea was allegedly hijacked in the Baltic Sea in late July after leaving a Finnish port. Russian navy vessels intercepted the ship weeks later off Cape Verde, thousands of kilometers from the Algerian port where it was purportedly supposed to deliver a load of timber.
A Russian shipping expert and an EU anti-piracy official have speculated that the vessel was carrying a clandestine cargo, possibly S-300 surface-to-air missiles destined for Iran or Syria.
Earlier in September, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rejected speculation that the hijacked Russian-crewed freighter was carrying S-300 missiles possibly destined for Iran.
"The presence of S-300s on board the Arctic Sea cargo ship is a complete lie," Lavrov told the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.
While Russia and Iran signed a deal for the sale of the system several years ago, according to latest assessments in Israel, it has yet to be delivered.
Yaakov Katz and AP contributed to this report
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