Mossad «hijacked» Russian ship with missiles to Iran

A ship that was reportedly hijacked in the English Channel was carrying advanced Russian anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. It had been tracked by Israel, and off loaded by Mossad agents.

The Artic Sea. Taken captive by Mossad on its way from Russia to Iran
The Artic Sea. Taken captive by Mossad on its way from Russia to Iran

This is a report published in the UK newspaper Sunday Times.

The Arctic Sea, which set sail from Finland on July 21 with 15 Russian crew members and a cargo of timber, failed to arrive in Algeria on August 4 as scheduled. The ship’s signal had disappeared in the Atlantic in late July.

The paper also quoted the sources as saying that Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, tracked the vessel and later tipped off Moscow that its cargo had been sold by former Russian military officers linked to the Russian underworld.

Russia sent naval vessels August 12 to search for the ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Days later, the government said it had found the Arctic Sea off West Africa and arrested eight hijackers.

But this version of events has been challenged by a number of sources.

Military officials believe a «cover story» was concocted, The Sunday Times reported, since any evidence that the Kremlin had let advanced weaponry fall into the hands of criminals or be sold to Iran would be highly embarrassing.

«The official version is ridiculous and was given to allow the Kremlin to save face» the British paper quoted a Russian military source as saying.

«I’ve spoken to people close to the investigation and they’ve pretty much confirmed Mossad’s involvement. It’s laughable to believe all this fuss was over a load of timber. I’m not alone in believing that it was carrying weapons to Iran».

The Sunday Times quoted the sources in Jerusalem and Moscow as claiming the ship actually had been loaded with S-300 missiles, Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapon, while undergoing repairs in the Russian port of Kaliningrad.

The air defense system could help Iran repel a possible Israeli strike against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites. Iran has long been interested in buying the missiles from Russia, but Israel has sought to convince Moscow not to deliver the systems.

Source: Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

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