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AJC Letter to UN Security Council on Ship Carrying Arms for Hamas

March 17, 2011 -- New York -- AJC a letter today to all members of the UN Security Council regarding Israel’s seizure of a cargo ship carrying Iranian arms for Hamas. The full text of the letter follows:

Your Excellency:

We wish to call your attention to a grave incident that occurred on March 15 in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

An Israeli naval force on routine security patrol intercepted and boarded a container ship, Victoria, flying the flag of Liberia, 200 miles off the coast of Israel. A search, conducted in accordance with the provisions of international law, revealed that the ship’s cargo included containers packed with weapons and ordnance – totaling dozens of tons – disguised as nonmilitary cargo. The writing on some of the items and other signs clearly indicate that the military hardware, including shore-to-sea missiles, was intended for terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. 

Unfortunately, this is not the first incident of its kind. Among other episodes, in January 2002, the Israeli navy intercepted a merchant ship, Karine A, bound from Iran to illicitly arm the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat. In November 2009, Israel intercepted another ship, Francop, carrying a much larger amount of weaponry destined to Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, the terror organization Hezbollah.

As you know, repeated Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1373, which was adopted in the wake of the horrific attacks of September 11, call on all states to refrain from harboring, sponsoring and financing terrorism. Moreover, resolution 1747 states that “Iran shall not supply, sell or transfer directly or indirectly from its territory or by its nationals . . . any arms or related materiel . . .” Yet Iran continues to provide weapons, training and financial support to its terrorist allies in Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip. 

These flagrant violations are consistent with Iran’s overall policy: Iran has persistently violated Security Council resolutions, adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, regarding its nuclear program; its president has repeatedly called for the annihilation of a fellow UN member state, Israel; it continues to undermine efforts to promote peace in the Middle East and meddle in the internal affairs of other countries; and it has committed massive violations of human rights against its own people. 

Recently, Iranian riot police and armed militias used excessive force to dislodge peaceful demonstrators who gathered in the streets of Tehran and other cities to express their aspirations for freedom and democracy. The regime’s response is reminiscent of its conduct in the summer of 2009, when it brutally suppressed peaceful demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of Iranians who attempted to express their outrage over what was a clearly subverted presidential election. 

We call on the Security Council to hold Iran accountable for its violations. Security Council committees established pursuant to resolutions 1373, 1747 and related resolutions should closely monitor Iran’s conduct and call the Council’s attention to its violations.

Respectfully,

Robert H. Elman                                               David A. Harris
Distribution channels: Religion


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