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Wednesday, 28 August, 2002, 23:18 GMT 00:18 UK
Israeli cargo 'bound for Iran'
Iranian soldiers on parade
Iran is one of Israel's most bitter opponents
German customs officials have impounded a private Israeli ship carrying military equipment thought to be destined for Iran.

Quoting customs, Israel's Defence Ministry confirmed that the vessel had been seized in Hamburg, adding that it had allowed the shipment to leave Israel on the understanding that the cargo was actually bound for Thailand.


German customs authorities informed the Defence Ministry that the final destination was Iran

Israeli Defence Ministry
Israel prohibits military exports of any kind to Iran and the ministry said the matter had been turned over to the Israeli police.

A ministerial spokeswoman added that the Israeli company involved may not have been aware of the cargo's true destination.

Customs in Hamburg have so far declined to give details of the ship being held to the media.

"German customs authorities informed the Defence Ministry that the final destination [of the ship's cargo] was Iran," the Israeli Defence Ministry said.

'Thai client'

The ministry said the cargo included Israeli-made treads for armoured personnel carriers.

Israeli TV reports that the cargo had been destined for a German buyer who was, in turn, due to ship it to Thailand.

The Israeli supplier was granted an export license on this basis, the Defence Ministry said.

At least one Israeli businessman has been convicted in the past of illegally selling military equipment to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

See also:

05 Feb 02 | Middle East
07 Feb 01 | Middle East
24 Apr 01 | Middle East
10 Jun 02 | Middle East
22 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
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