Ambassadors, military attaches view weapons seized from Francop

 Iranian arms smuggling-Briefing for diplomats and military attaches


(Photo: IDF Spokesperson)

(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)

The IDF and the Foreign Ministry invited ambassadors and diplomats from 44 countries and military attaches from 27 military forces around the world to an IDF base in central Israel in order to witness the large quantities of armaments and ammunition that had been found on the "Francop" ship in the early hours of Wednesday.

The quests heard analysis from senior IDF officers, as well as from Foreign Ministry Director-General Yossi Gal.

A senior intelligence officer presented information regarding the destination of the weapons – Syria and Lebanon – and their potential use by terrorist organizations. The officer also gave details on the central role that Iran plays in its activities to train and arm terrorist elements in the Middle East.

Israel Navy deputy commander, Rear Admiral Rani Ben-Yehuda described the naval smuggling phenomenon in the region as well as the methods used in boarding the "Francop" and in locating the armaments hidden on the ship, which included rockets used by Hizbullah.

The head of the Strategic Division, Brigadier-General Yossi Heiman, emphasized the importance of international cooperation and the active involvement of states around the world in preventing terrorism and arms smugglings, noting "the Francop incident is a part of the struggle between the different camps in the Middle East. Weapons smuggling carried out by sovereign states like Iran and Syria allows radical elements, such as Hizbullah and Hamas, to undermine the stability of Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority and other states in the region. The nature of war has changed in recent years, and the international community has not yet developed the legal and operational capabilities to deal with these new threats."

Iranian arms smuggling – Briefing by FM Director-General Gal and the IDF
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)

Today, the Foreign Ministry and the IDF briefed dozens of foreign diplomats and military attaches at the IDF base where the Iranian weapons seized from the "Francop" ship are being stored.

The diplomats and military attaches toured the facility, where they could see with their own eyes the weapons’ containers that had been seized and the camouflage methods that had been used. They witnessed the amount and variety of weapons that had been found on their way from Iran to terrorist organizations and Syria, the state that supports these groups. At the conclusion of the visit, FM Director-General Yosef Gal and senior Israeli army and navy officers briefed the visitors.

In his remarks, Director-General Gal referred to the cynical use Iran makes of innocent states by hiding behind their flags and called for international action to stop terrorist activities organized and supported by Iran and its henchmen.

The Director-General emphasized that Israel will continue to defend its citizens under its right of self-defense and its duty to protect its citizens, just as every other responsible state does. He added that the threat is not only to Israel, but is a strategic threat to the stability and peace of the world and to every state attempting to live in peace and security. He call on the world’s government to focus on the true threat to international peace, which was reflected in the weaponry that had been caught.