Iranian flotilla leaving for Gaza

Half will be sent through Istanbul; Iranian MPs will fly to Gaza.

Aid_311 (photo credit: AP)
(photo credit: AP)
Two Iranian cargoes of humanitarian aid for Gaza will leave next week and one of them will be shipped through Istanbul, the official Iranian news agency, IRNA reported Monday.
The announcement quoted Mohammad Ali Nouraee, an aid official, who said
one cargo will be sent to Turkey, and then shipped to Gaza from Istanbul while the other will leave from the port of Khorramshahr.
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Nouraee said that the ships would sail without protective security because the Iranians  “do not want to fight", however he emphasized that "we are willing to become martyred in this way.”
According to IRNA, a senior official of the the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, Deputy Commander Hossein Salami, has said that escorting the two cargo ships "was not on the guards agenda."
In addition three Iranian parliamentarians are planning to visit Gaza through Egypt, Iranian news agencies reported Monday. 
Lawmaker Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash was quoted as saying that he and two other members of the Majlis, the Iranian parliament, would travel to Gaza by way of Egypt later this week.
Bighash said that some 200 out of the 290 Iranian MPs had wanted to make the visit but the three-man team will go instead.  He said that the
Egyptians had expressed willingness to allow the Iranians to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing.
Iranian MP Mahmoud Ahmadi-Biqash said on Sunday that the Egyptian government has agreed to issue visas to 70 Iranian parliamentarians who have registered to travel to the Gaza Strip.
The Iranian efforts to aid Gaza are inspired by the recent Gaza-bound flotilla, during which an Israeli effort to take control of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara resulted in the death of nine Turkish activists.