Officials:US Blocked Missile Shipment To Hezbollah [Clinton admin refused to block transfer in mid 1990's]Link to "Report Friday August 18th, 2006 / 14h49"
NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. last month blocked an Iranian cargo plane from flying to Syria after intelligence analysts believed it was carrying sophisticated missiles and launchers to resupply Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, USA Today reported Friday, citing two U.S. intelligence officials.Source/details of C-802 that was used to attack Israeli Naval vessel.
U.S. 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 said, according to the report.
The newspaper said the Iraq and Turkish governments would not discuss the incident. Iran's United Nations mission denied trying to send Hezbollah weapons.
According to the report, a source tipped off U.S. intelligence about an imminent shipment of missiles from Iran to Hezbollah. The sources said a spy satellite photographed Iranian crews loading three missile launchers and eight crates, each normally used to carry a Chinese-designed C-802 Noor missile, aboard a transport plane at Mehrabad air base near Tehran.
The plane was denied permission to fly through Iraqi airspace by Iraqi air traffic controllers, and Turkish controllers granted permission - but only if the plane would land for an inspection.
The report said the plane returned to Tehran, where the military cargo was unloaded.
Without a doubt, however, the July 14 near-catastrophic attack against the modern and stealthy Israeli corvette Hanit would not have been possible without the C-802//Noor anti-ship missile, the means to produce which were sold by China to Iran in the mid-1990s.
The transfer should have triggered U.S. sanctions of the PRC under the 1992 Gore-McCain Act (Iran-Iraq Arms Nonproliferation Act), but was ignored by the Clinton-Gore administration -- despite testimony from former U.S. Navy 5th Fleet commander Admiral Redd, echoed by Stateís Deputy Assistant Secretary Einhorn, that the missiles presented "a 360-degree threat" to U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf, and House Resolution 105-304 (October 6, 1997) "Urging the Executive branch to take action regarding the acquisition by Iran of C-802 cruise missiles."