Israeli soldiers inspect containers unloaded from the Panamanian-flagged Klos-C vessel on March 9, 2014 at a navy base near the southern Israeli port of Eilat
Israeli soldiers inspect containers unloaded from the Panamanian-flagged Klos-C vessel on March 9, 2014 at a navy base near the southern Israeli port of Eilat © Jack Guez - AFP
Israeli soldiers inspect containers unloaded from the Panamanian-flagged Klos-C vessel on March 9, 2014 at a navy base near the southern Israeli port of Eilat
AFP
Last updated: March 11, 2014

Iran scoffs at Israel weapons claim

Iran dismissed as farcical Tuesday Israel's highly publicised display of weapons it said it had seized from a vessel in the Red Sea bound for Gaza from Iran.

The foreign ministry said a news conference given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday beside the alleged cargo was pure propaganda aimed at torpedoing Iran's growing rapprochement with the West.

"The claim is a farce," foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told reporters.

"This coincides with the (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) AIPAC meeting in the United States, and when Iran's place in the region and its interaction with different countries are improving."

She said the improved relations between Tehran and Washington had "worried" Israel and prompted it to "resort to its usual tactics."

In Monday's news conference in the Israeli port of Eilat, Netanyahu accused the European Union and the United States of "hypocrisy" for forging ahead with nuclear talks with Iran that have been bitterly opposed by Israel.

Israel paraded the weaponry it said it had seized which included longer-range rockets as well as mortar rounds and rifle cartridges.

It came as EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the lead negotiator for the major powers in the nuclear talks with Tehran, wrapped up her first visit to Iran.

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