Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday harshly criticized the international community for pretending the Iranian regime had changed its tune. He made the remarks while surrounded by a cache of Iranian weapons intercepted en route to Hamas.
Last Wednesday, Israeli naval commandoes raided a cargo ship off the coast of Africa after learning that it was transporting dozens of medium-range missiles, hundreds of mortar shells and a large amount of ammunition to Hamas and allied terror groups in Gaza.
Those arms were put on display Monday in the southern Israel port city of Eilat, where the cargo ship Klos C was docked.
Netanyahu said the international community’s downplaying of the Israeli operation and its failure to condemn Iran for supporting regional terror groups was “evidence of the era of hypocrisy in which we are living.”
“The international community wants to ignore Iran’s ongoing aggression and its part in the execution of the massacre in Syria,” the prime minister continued. “They want to delude themselves that Iran has abandoned its intention to obtain nuclear weapons.”
Hours later, the Obama Administration did finally comment publicly on the Iranian arms shipment, condemning it “in the strongest terms.”
It appeared as though the White House was concerned that openly condemning the arms shipment would damage its efforts to negotiate with Tehran over its nuclear program, as the official statement tried hard to separate between the two issues.
“It is important to make clear that even as we continue efforts to resolve our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program through diplomacy, we will continue, in coordination with our partners and allies, to push back against Iranian support for terrorism, threats against our friends and partners, and violations of human rights,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
Carney reiterated that American forces were very much a part of tracking and coordinating the interception of the Klos C.
As Netanyahu’s press conference was taking place, another ceremony was taking place in Gaza City, where Hamas unveiled a life-size statue of a locally-produced M–75 missile, the same type of missile used to target Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during the last Gaza conflict.
A Hamas official told AFP that in future conflict, Gaza-based terrorists will be able to strike even deeper into Israel. Indeed, had the Klos C managed to deliver its cargo, Hamas would have increased its missile range to nearly 200 kilometers, far enough to reach almost any target in Israel.