Iranian Flotilla to Gaza cancelled

25 Jun 2010

An Iranian ship carrying 60 Iranian activists was being prepared to sail to Gaza via the Caspian Sea, but Secretary General of International Conference on Support for Palestinian Antifada, Hossein Sheikholeslam, announced that the ‘Iranian Flotilla’ has been cancelled. IRNA reports that the aid ship was first scheduled to leave for Gaza on June 24, but Israeli restrictions caused it to be postponed to Sunday June 27. However, currently the whole trip has been cancelled.
Israeli officials have announced that all ships going to Gaza will be inspected by Israeli ships. The Israeli Prime Minister stressed that “Gaza should not be turned into an Iranian port.” Hossein Sheikholeslam said that “Israel has sent a letter to the UN saying that the presence of Lebanese and Iranian ships in the Gaza region are marks of war with their regime and they will confront it.”
Israel contends that inspection of ships to Gaza is necessary in order to stop weapons from reaching the armed forces in Gaza. Sheikholeslam maintained that “Israel has politicized the issue of getting aid to the people in siege in Gaza and we do not want our humanitarian efforts to be politicized.” He added that Iran will make every effort to send its humanitarian aid to Gaza through other means.
Israeli commandos attacked an aid flotilla to Gaza a few weeks ago, which led to ten deaths and scores of injuries. The majority of the victims were Turkish citizens.
Iran planned to assist the aid efforts to Gaza but Greta Berlin, one of the organizers of aid efforts for Gaza, rejected their assistance saying their organization does not accept aid from extremists groups and countries. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have also announced that they are ready to escort humanitarian aid vessels to Gaza.

source: Radio Zamaneh

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