TURKISH AUTHORITIES have seized rifles on a Syria-bound Iranian cargo plane after grounding the aircraft on Saturday, March 19th at the request of the United Nations which suspected that the aircraft had illicit cargo including nuclear materials on board.
Further inspections by Turkish authorities in Diyarbakir lead to the discovery of rocket launchers, mortars, rifles and explosive materials in one of the plane’s cabinets, along with a box containing automatic weapons, Turkish media reports.
Members of the seven-man crew have been taken in for questioning, as judicial officials are assessing whether or not the presence of these weapons were in adherence to international laws. Charges have not been pressed against any crew members.
Suspicions which led to the grounding of this cargo plane, along with the grounding of another Syria-bound Iranian aircraft on March 16th could also be a result of accusations made by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency in 2008 that Syria may be building an undeclared reactor at covert site, Dair Alzour.