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US Reportedly Blocks Iran Missile Delivery to Hezbollah
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The United States blocked an Iranian cargo plane's flight to Syria last month as it was carrying missiles and launchers to resupply Hezbollah, the USA Today daily newspaper reported on Friday.

The US blocked the plane after intelligence analysts concluded it was carrying sophisticated missiles and launchers to resupply Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Eight days after Hezbollah's war with Israel began, US diplomats persuaded Turkey and Iraq to deny the plane permission to cross their territory to Damascus, a transfer point for arms to Hezbollah, the officials were quoted as saying.

The episode was detailed by one US intelligence official who saw a report on the incident, and was confirmed by a US official from a second intelligence agency and by a diplomat with a foreign government, the newspaper said.

The officials and diplomat's accounts illustrated the quiet support the United States gave Israel during the 34-day war, even enlisting help from Muslim nations where acting on Israel's behalf was politically anathema, it said.

Israel and US President George W. Bush have accused the Shiite-dominated government of Iran of shipping the Shiite militia increasingly sophisticated weapons by way of Syria, the newspaper said.

The report also said the Iraqi and Turkish governments would not discuss the incident, Iran's United Nations mission denied trying to send Hezbollah weapons, and claimed that the intelligence officials had not provided reports, satellite photos or other evidence to corroborate the sequence of events.

Their account could not be independently verified, it added.

(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2006)


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