A devastating explosions at a naval base in Cyprus this week killed 12 people, injured 62 others and knocked out 50 percent of their electricity supply. The huge blasts occurred at a seized Iranian weapons cache. The blasts were so intense they completely destroyed the cache and blew out almost all the windows in a nearby fishing village called Zygi, which is a popular destination for tourists. Hours later fires were reportedly still raging. Journalists were prevented from reaching the Zygi or the naval base.
The blasts occurred in the containers of Iranian munitions seized from the Cypriot flagged vessel M/V Monchegorsk in January 2009. It was intercepted by the US navy in the eastern Mediterranean, from where it was taken to Cyprus. This story didn’t make much impact until a UN Security Council panel asserted that the shipment violated an arms embargo against Iran, adopted as part of a 2007 UN sanctions resolution. The resolution asserted that “Iran shall not supply, sell or transfer from its territory any arms and related materiel, and that all states shall prohibit the procurement of such items from Iran.” These sanctions were imposed due to their refusal to halt their nuclear...More >>