20-Year-Old Letterhead points to Israeli Forgery in Francop Affair

Iran’s PressTV says it has caught Israel forging documents in an attempt to implicate Iran in arms smuggling.

The Israelis have been maintaining that a ship, the Francop, that their forces boarded near Cyprus originated in Iran and was bringing arms to Hizbullah and Hamas. Many US news outlets published the accompanying picture, which seemed to indicate that the arms were being supplied by the Ministry of the Sipah [i.e. of soldier].

The name of that ministry was changed 20 years ago, however, to the Ministry of Defense. One Iranian journalist opined, “So this begs the question of what the emblem of a nonexistent body was doing on the cargo?”

Syria had all along accused the Israeli operation of being a forgery

It is tempting to speculate as to how the Israelis got the letterhead of the Iranian Ministry of the Soldier. It should be remembered that in the 1980s, Israel was allied with Khomeini and received petroleum and other goods from Iran in return for helping against Iraq. It is likely during that era of good feeling that Israel received the letterhead, and whoever dredged it back up to plaster on the goods carried by the intercepted ship did not realize that in the meantime the Iranians had changed the name of the ministry concerned.

The Likud government is perfectly capable of such a diversionary tactic. Maybe it has a good explanation for all this. We’d like to hear it.

End/ (Not Continued)

15 Responses

  1. Honest reporting of Israel is rare or non-exisitent. The world must learn the truth about every nations evilness, not just those with Arabic or Muslim sounding names.

  2. The story smelled fishy the minute I heard it (recalling the tall tales the Jerusalem Post used to published in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq). The Western press falls for it every time. What patsies!

  3. I do believe we are going to be frustrated in attempting to have a rationale conversation with anyone who has their own agenda and/or is operating with a pathology we refuse to recognize.

    Israel's Us v. Them attitude, manifested in their If-You-Aren't-With-Us-You're-Against Us paradigm, are as threatened by Iranian bluster and insolence as anything tangible they may do or even contemplate. Iran may indeed have malevolent intentions toward Israel, but to Israel it hardly matters.

    Oh, and to those who really believe, the Ends certainly justify the Means.

    Here I'm reminded of those "Iranian Shaped Charges" that were wheeled out in Iraq a couple years ago, "proving" how Iran was killing US troops. There were all the proper Made-In-Iran stamps (leaving aside why the Iranians would be so stupid as not to at least paint them over), followed by their date of mfg, in the form: 7/29/2006.

    Trouble is this is US date-notation, and Iran would've used 29/7/2006. Rather than just your eyes roll, ask yourself why the follow-up to that story died.

    Looking at the overall trend, an attack on Iran is inevitable. Consent is now being Manufactured (thank you Noam Chomsky). Maybe the current US admimistration wants something else, but it seems clear the powers that be have made up their minds.

    Its just a matter of time.

  4. Let's walk through the "Israel did it" scenario. The Israeli document forgery unit (let us all agree that Israel has one of these), paid professionals with access to modern equipment and modern budgets, were tripped up by a 20 year old ministry name change.

    Really.

    This puts their professionalism at a Dan Rather level. Now this is possible. But I'm not so sure that I'd stake my reputation on it.

    The only reasonable explanation for me would be that the professional forgers never got their hands on it. Rather the documents were found, taken off the ship, and publicized by other elements of the armed forces and were never examined to ensure that they were proper.

    One alternate scenario is that the Iranian document forgery unit (let us all agree that they have one too) are forging their own documents, putting defective paperwork in with arms shipments they want to be able to plausibly deny so that when such documents fall into Israeli hands, they can be discredited.

    I'm not wedded to this alternate theory but I find it at least as plausible as the idea that the professional forgers did this bad a job at it in an operation where they would have had the time to do it right.

  5. Nevermind the label. In the Lavon Affair of 1954, Israeli agents in Egypt tried to bomb US and British sites such as movie theaters, and planned to blame the resultant deaths on the Egyptians in order to undermine Western relations with Egypt. This is a proven historical fact that Israel admits to today. If that's the case, is it really beyond the Israelis to manufacture this "arms capture" incident too?

  6. Everybody lies. The amount of energy expended creating lies, keeping track of lies, figuring out what's a lie and what's maybe possibly not, peering at every other human with that painful squint of distrust and inclination to deceit, all of that would keep a large city in heat and electric power for centuries. We have more words for "lying" than the Eskimo have for "snow," and a whole hell of a lot more than we have for "honesty" and "truth." And there's nothing that does not provide an opportunity for profit in this world — even whole volumes,

    link to amazon.com

    are written on the subject of prevarication, falsehood, misdirection, fabrication, fairy tale, falsity, fib, mendacity, story, tale, untruth, whopper,distortion, exaggeration, half-truth, ambiguity, equivocation, defamation, libel, slander, perjury, bluff, pose, pretense (or pretence), humbug, jive, nonsense, fallacy, misconception, myth; misinformation, misrepresentation, misstatement, deceit, deceitfulness, dishonesty, duplicity, fraudulence… for just a few. And let's not forget the works of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli.

    So what's a little letterhead thingie in the great scheme of thingies?

    I guess it all depends on whether the person doing the lying, deceit, etc. is "on your side." Or not

  7. This is the perfect opportunity to reminisce about the ridiculous affair in which Israeli helicopter commandos arrested the poor Lebanese farmer who happened to share the name Hassan Nasrallah with Hizballah's secretary general. Israel stonewalled for days, as if they might have been correct.

  8. The lies, the cheats, the false flag operators and the provocateurs – they own us.

    Now – if we could just get rid of the self confessed, multi-occasion, mass-murdering Invisible Spaghetti Monsters of the three religions of Abraham and their followers liars, cheats, false flaggers, provocateurs and fellow travellers – then we'd have one less category of insanity to unravel.

    How can there be anyone left on this little blue ball still be so deluded and needy as to believe in their appalling religions. Good grief, lets get back to killing people for the good old fashioned reasons – hate, envy, greed and competing football teams. NOW – those are things worth dying and killing for! Not.

  9. So, where do you think the weapons came from, and where do you think they were headed?

  10. Is it possible that this shipment included 20 year old arms with 20 year old labels? That would be an "innocent" explanation of the Israeli claims, but it would also argue against any current involvement of the Iranian government. Old surplus weaponry gets shipped around the world a lot. It could have come from anywhere.

  11. And as a former US serviceman, I have to add, let us not forget the USS Libety, a US intelligence-gathering ship in internatinal waters, strafed and torpedoed during the 1967 conflict by Israeli "military assets" accompanied by entire battalions of obfucsators, working hard to make sure everything remains "uncertain." link to whatreallyhappened.com

    There used to be this supposed Israeli doctrine of "purity of arms…"link to myjewishlearning.com

    But of course in a world full of corrupt humans, including such leading lights as Yasser "Whatchagonnagimme" Arafat and every other flavor and species of political leadership on all "sides,"

    "Whatchagonnadoaboutit?"

  12. Juan, your otherwise sober post is compromised by the statement that Israel was allied with Iran in the 1980s. To my knowledge all oil and military dealings between the two states were through three parties, and at least from the Iranian side the transactions were viewed as a necessary evil in light of the war. That is much different from being "allied with Khomeini." Perhaps the choice of wording was motivated more by aversion to Khomeini than a desire for precision?

  13. Why is the Likud not held responsible for its early alliance with the Ayatollah Khomeini, thus creating the supposed mortal threat from Iran?

    Why is the Mossad not held responsible for helping to build up Hamas in its infancy to screw Fatah?

    Why does Israel keep denying that it has a large nuclear deterrent which make the need for a physical buffer zone of settlements obsolete?

    It's almost as if the people running Israel are having to manufacture new mortal enemies as fast as possible so that ordinary citizens are too terrorized to ask the simple question, "What happens the day we're outvoted by the people whose land we've stolen?"

    And on that day, the leaders will impose a solution so horrific that only the citizens of Israel will claim they had no chance for a better alternative.

    I hope to God it doesn't involve the nukes.

  14. Just for the sake of accuracy, sepah = 'corps', not 'soldier'. 'Sepah' in the Iranian political context is used as an abbreviation for the Revolutionary Guards Corps (Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Enqelab) so the ministry referred to is supposedly the Revolutionary Guards Ministry.

    This doesn't however invalidate the fact that the ministry in question ceased to exist several years ago.

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