Iranian military commander Maj. Gen. Ataollah Salehi denied Israeli charges a ship seized by Israeli commandos carried 50 tons of Iranian weapons.He also insulted Europe and the US, but that part didn't make it into the UPI report:
"Israel is a regime made of lie, making lies and fabrications," Salehi told the Iranian state news agency IRNA Wednesday.
"The Zionist regime will drown in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, God willing, after the collapse of the Egyptian pharaoh," Salehi said, rejecting Israel's claims the weapons found aboard the ship headed for Gaza were from Iran.
"The arrogant countries of the nineteen century condemned militarism, but now, they all resort to militaristic means and seek to repress regional wronged nations," he said referring to the regional turmoil.But not to worry. Iran's message is one of peace!
"Last year we successfully sent our vessels to the Mediterranean Sea and we expect our navy will navigate in the oceans which will manifest our power carrying a message of peace and friendship," he added.Meanwhile, an intriguing report:
Turkey's government says a cargo plane from Iran has been required to land in Turkey so its shipment could be searched.I can't wait for the peaceful Iranian regime to extend its benevolent hegemony over the entire world!
But the Foreign Ministry denied a Dogan news agency report that Turkish military jets forced the plane to land at Diyarbakir airport on Tuesday night to search it for an alleged cargo of arms from Iran to Syria.
The ministry says it is standard procedure for Iranian cargo planes to request permission to fly over Turkey and sometimes be required to make unscheduled landings to be searched.
Turkey's official Anatolia news agency confirmed that the plane, heading from Tehran to Aleppo, Syria, was searched Wednesday.
But Anatolia and the government did not say what the cargo plane was found to be carrying.
UPDATE: From Ha'aretz:
The plane, which allegedly contained weapons connected to Iran's nuclear program, was forced to landed in the city of Diyarbakir. Security officials arrived at the airport to check the plane's contents, Turkish news agencies reported.
Turkish air forces forced a cargo plane carrying military supplies from Iran to Syria to land in southeast Turkey on Wednesday after receiving a tip-off warning of nuclear weapons onboard, local media reported.
But the latest from Zawya:
The plane, instructed to land at Diyarbakir airport as it overflew eastern Turkey on its way to Syria, was found to be carrying 150 tons of food but no "material contrary to international standards," the sources added.
After several hours of search on the plane for military or nuclear related cargo onboard, the aircraft took off at 1330 GMT, an AFP correspondent at the scene saw.
Anti-nuclear, biological and chemical material unit of civilian defence teams took part in the inspection of the plane as well, Anatolia news agency reported.