Reuters: Cyprus will offload a cargo of weapons from a ship detained for violating United Nations sanctions on Iran, the island's state broadcaster said on Thursday.
NICOSIA, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Cyprus will offload a cargo of weapons from a ship detained for violating United Nations sanctions on Iran, the island's state broadcaster said on Thursday.
Government sources declined to comment on reports by the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation that the cargo from the Monchegorsk would be taken off the vessel on Friday morning.
The ship has been detained off Cyprus, its flag-state, since Jan. 29 after it was boarded by U.S. naval personnel in the Red Sea. U.S. military authorities said the ship was travelling to Syria from Iran and had been carrying arms.
Cypriot and United Nations Security Council sources have said the ship appears to be carrying material from Iran prohibited under U.N. resolutions. Iran has denied the ship was carrying weapons.
Iran is under U.N. and U.S. sanctions over its nuclear programme, which Western powers suspect is aimed at making bombs but which Tehran says is for generating electricity.
Cypriot sources say the cargo on the Monchegorsk is of a "conventional" nature, a view echoed by diplomatic sources.
"We haven't seen a complete manifest. But they are basically conventional arms and ammunition as far as we're aware," a senior Security Council diplomat told Reuters. (Reporting by Michele Kambas, editing by Matthew Jones)