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March 9, 2014 9:56 am

Netanyahu Challenges EU’s Ashton to Confront Iran About Arms Ship

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Prime Minister Netanyahu at his weekly cabinet meeting. Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on Europe’s Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who is now visiting Tehran, to confront her hosts about a shipment of weapons intercepted in the Red Sea by Israeli forces last week.

Israel said the Syrian-made weapons were shipped via Iran and were destined for Gaza-based terror groups.

“I call this to the attention of Catherine Ashton, who is now visiting Tehran,” Netanayhu said, at the start of his government’s weekly Cabinet meeting. “I would like to ask her if she asked her Iranian hosts about this shipment of weapons for terrorist organizations, and if not, why not.”

“Nobody has the right to ignore the true and murderous actions of the regime in Tehran. I think that it would be proper for the international community to give its opinion regarding Iran’s true policy, not its propaganda.”

The captured weapons ship, which was carrying advanced rockets, sailed into Israel’s southern Eilat port on Saturday night. Israel has begun unloading and inspecting the more that 150 crates on board the vessel.

The  seizure of the ship had two goals, Netanyahu said.

The first was “Preventing the delivery of deadly weapons to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, which would have directly endangered Israel’s citizens.” The second, he said, was to expose “the true face of Iran, which was behind this weapons shipment.”

“Iran completely denies its involvement; it is lying in the most brazen manner. We will present evidence of this tomorrow and later,” he added.

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