EUROPE/CIS: Turkey searches another Iranian freighter

A second Iranian cargo aircraft within a week has been searched in Turkey on suspicion of carrying weapons to Syria, where protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime are growing. The aircraft was forced to land at Diyarbakir Airport in southern Turkey, where it was searched for weapons and nuclear weapons components, according to Turkish media […]


A second Iranian cargo aircraft within a week has been searched in Turkey on suspicion of carrying weapons to Syria, where protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime are growing. The aircraft was forced to land at Diyarbakir Airport in southern Turkey, where it was searched for weapons and nuclear weapons components, according to Turkish media reports. “We gave the Iranian plane advance permission to pass through Turkey en route to Syria,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. “The agreement was that it will land for an inspection. We did not spot anything unusual in the plane’s cargo and allowed it to continue.” Anti-nuclear, biological and chemical material unit of civilian defence teams also took part in the inspection of the plane, Anatolia news agency reported. The UN nuclear watchdog agency has been probing allegations since 2008 that Syria had been building an undeclared reactor at a remote desert site called Dair Alzour until it was bombed by Israeli planes in September 2007. Damascus granted UN inspectors oneoff access to the site in June 2008 but no follow-up visits. Earlier this month, the head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, complained that Syria “has not cooperated with the agency since June 2008.”