Another twist in 'Arctic Sea' story?

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So.. according to The Guardian:


Netanyahu visits Moscow in secret to obstruct Iran missile sale

Israeli prime minister faces widespread criticism after mission details leaked to press

The article says

Russia and Israel were both facing domestic embarrassment today after it emerged that the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, had taken a secret trip to Moscow to persuade the Russians not to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.


Some reports have suggested that Mossad tracked the apparently hijacked Arctic Sea last month because it was believed to be carrying smuggled S-300 missiles from Russia, bound for Syria and Iran. Russian officials say the ship was carrying timber.

A day after the recovery of the ship, the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, also travelled to Russia to discuss weapon sales. He later claimed to have received an assurance from Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, that the country would "reconsider" the planned sale of the S-300 missiles to Iran.

Israel is particularly worried that Iran might use the weapons to protect its nuclear sites against a military strike. Israeli officials have repeatedly avoided ruling out a response to Iran's nuclear programme, suggesting that a military strike remains an option.

In Israel, the visit raised more questions about Netanyahu's secretiveness and style of government than it did about missiles for Iran.

Raises questions?  Certainly does!


Previous coverage

World news

Russia denies Arctic Sea was carrying arms destined for Iran

  •, Tuesday September 8 2009
  • Luke Harding in Moscow

Russia today categorically denied media reports that the Arctic Sea ‑ the Russian cargo ship apparently hijacked by pirates ‑ had been carrying a secret cargo of anti-aircraft weapons destined for Iran. Its foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, dismissed claims made in Russian and British newspapers that the ship was concealing a delivery of the S-300, Russia's most advanced (...)



World news

Journalist flees Russia after Arctic Sea piracy story

  •, Thursday September 3 2009
  • Luke Harding in Moscow

A journalist who broke the story of a Russian cargo ship apparently hijacked by pirates announced he had fled Russia, fearing for his life. Mikhail Voitenko, editor of the online maritime bulletin Sovfracht, said he had left the country after receiving a menacing late-night phone call. Voitenko said an unidentified man called him on the night of 1 September and warned him (...)


World news

Arctic Sea: 'Hijackers demanded £1.5m ransom'

  •, Wednesday August 19 2009
  • Caroline Davies, and Tom Parfitt in Moscow

The armed group that seized the Arctic Sea cargo ship demanded a ransom and threatened to scuttle the vessel if the money was not handed over, it emerged today. "The crew members have already confirmed that the captors demanded a ransom and threatened to blow up the vessel if their orders were not obeyed," a spokesman for Russia's defence ministry said. In a separate statement (...)



  • World news

    Arctic Sea: 'Piracy is completely commonplace'

    •, Wednesday August 19 2009
    Audio (2m 58sec): David Osler, who writes about maritime safety for Lloyd's List, discusses the mystery surrounding the cargo ship the Arctic (...)


World news

Eight held but mystery grows over hijacked ship Arctic Sea

  • The Guardian, Tuesday August 18 2009
  • Caroline Davies and Tom Parfitt in Moscow

Four Estonians, two Latvians and two Russian nationals were under armed guard aboard a Russian navy warship tonight accused of having hijacked the Arctic Sea cargo ship and forcing it 2,000 miles off course towards west Africa. But the mystery surrounding the odyssey of the 4,000-tonne vessel, which vanished from radar three weeks ago after passing through the English Channel (...)



World news

Russia holds eight after recovering missing ship Arctic Sea

  •, Tuesday August 18 2009
  • Peter Walker, Tom Parfitt in Moscow and Caroline Davies

A cargo ship which vanished into the Atlantic for more than a fortnight was hijacked by armed men who ordered it to sail for Africa, Russia's defence minister said today, announcing the arrest of the eight suspected pirates. "It was a pirate attack," Anatoly Serdyukov told reporters, when asked what happened when the Arctic Sea was seized in the Baltic sea. If confirmed it wou (...)

  • World news

    Muddied waters: Russia finds 'piracy' cargo ship but what really happened?

    • The Guardian, Monday August 17 2009
    • Caroline Davies and Tom Parfitt in Moscow
    Three weeks after it vanished at sea, the cargo ship Arctic Sea was found off the Cape Verde islands today with its Russian crew alive, well and "answering questions". All 15 sailors were aboard a Russian anti-submarine warship , bringing to a conclusion one of the most intriguing maritime mysteries of modern times. But, even as the Russian authorities announced the developme

    Three weeks after it vanished at sea, the cargo ship Arctic Sea was found off the Cape Verde islands today with its (...)



World news

'Pirated' cargo ship Arctic Sea found off Cape Verde

  •, Monday August 17 2009
  • Haroon Siddique and agencies

A cargo ship that went missing in European waters in what was feared to be a pirate hijacking has been found 300 miles off the Cape Verde islands, the Russian defence minister said. The 15 Russian crew of the Arctic Sea were alive, Anatoly Serdyukov told the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev. The ship, bound for Algeria with £1m worth of timber from Finland, last radioed the (...)

  • World news

    Russian website picks up signal from missing freighter Arctic Sea

    • The Observer, Sunday August 16 2009
    • Jamie Doward
    The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the missing freighter Arctic Sea took a new twist yesterday afternoon when it was reported that its tracking system had been broadcasting signals off the coast of France. Sovfrakht, a Russian maritime web site, said the signals could be traced to the Bay of Biscay, near the port of La Rochelle. They were reportedly detected around 8.3

    The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the missing freighter Arctic Sea took a new twist yesterday afternoon when it was reported (...)