Iranian flotilla departure postponed


(JTA) — The departure of a Gaza-bound Iranian ship carrying aid and activists has been postponed after Egypt said it would prevent the ship from using the Suez Canal.

"The ship’s departure has been postponed because of more restrictions imposed by the Zionist Quds occupying regime on the movement of aid to Gaza and prevention of the ship from using the Suez Canal, despite coordination with international bodies," the Red Crescent said in a statement faxed to the French news agency AFP.

A Suez Canal Authority official told AFP, however, that it would allow the ship to pass, per the requirements of an international treaty.

On June 24, an Iranian official announced that the departure of the aid ship had been canceled due to restrictions imposed by Israel.

Israel sent a letter to the United Nations last week saying that if Iranian and Lebanese ships enter the water off Gaza’s coast, Israel would consider it a declaration of war and react.

Two ships had been scheduled to leave on Sunday.

Iran reportedly still plans to send aid to Gaza by plane and through Egyptian borders.

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