'Embarrassing' Incident in Gulf of Suez
An "embarrassing affair," is how one German diplomat described it. The official could also have added: potentially damaging to trans-Atlantic relations.
In an operation reported on by SPIEGEL over the weekend, the freighter Hansa India in the Gulf of Suez at the beginning of October was discovered carrying seven containers full of 7.62 millimeter ammunition suitable for Kalashnikov rifles. An eighth container was full of cartridges suitable for the manufacture of additional rounds. The incident is particularly awkward for Berlin as the Hansa India is registered to the Hamburg-based shipping company Leonhardt & Blumberg.
...The arms were part of an Iranian shipment bound for either the Syrian army or for Hezbollah, the militant Islamist group. US officials have pointed out that the delivery is in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747, which prohibits arms shipments either into or out of Iran.
According to Leonhardt & Blumberg, the 243-meter-long (297-foot-long) ship has for years been under charter to the state-owned shipping company Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.