"We think the weapons were meant for Hizbullah and Hamas," a diplomat
In February, the diplomats said, the UN Security Council sanctions
committee deemed the Iranian weapons ship a violation of the international
embargo on Teheran. They said the UN committee advised Nicosia to
acquire help from other states for the disposal of the Iranian weapons.
"My understanding is that Cypriot authorities are looking into what the
situation is, what is the specifications on these weapons that are there,"
British minister for Europe Caroline Flint, who met Kyprianou, said. "And I
think when we have a better report of that, the UK and I'm sure other
countries will want to help in whatever way we can to make sure that they
are disposed of effectively."
In January 2009, Monchegorsk was intercepted and searched by the
U.S. Navy's USS San Antonio in the Red Sea. The cargo ship was allowed to
continue to Egypt's Port Said, but was again stopped in the Mediterranean.
On Feb. 11, Iran denied that Monchegorsk was transporting weapons.
For his part, Kyprianou said Nicosia has yet to complete its search of
all of the containers on the boat. He said the ship would not be returned to
Iran, but could be confiscated in cooperation with Western allies.