"There is something very wrong about that ship.”

The Strange Story of the Ship “Iran Deyanat”

By —— Bio and Archives--October 30, 2008

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“There is something very wrong about that ship.”


There’s a story that has been making the rounds among blog sites and forums, having to do with the Iranian ship “Iran Deyanat.” 

The story goes like this: On August 21, near the Horn of Africa, between South Yemen and Somalia, the “Iran Deyanat” was boarded by about 40 pirates armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). The pirates were members of a crime syndicate based in Eyl, a small fishing village in northern Somalia.

That, in itself, is not a rare or especially newsworthy story.  Pirates have captured around 30 ships in that area during the past year alone. 

The hijacking of the Ukrainian ship “Faina” on September 25, is the only one of the hijackings to receive any substantial coverage in the U.S.  The “Faina” received coverage (it’s an ongoing situation, by the way) only because its cargo is Russian tanks.

What makes the “Iran Deyanat” story so compelling, is what happened after the hijacking.

According to sources quoted by “The Times” of South Africa, and “The Long War Journal,” the pirates started dying from a “mysterious illness” soon after taking over the ship. 

Hassan Allore Osman, the Minister of Minerals and Oil in Puntland, (an autonomous region of Somalia) headed a delegation sent to Eyl to negotiate the release of the “Iran Deyanat.”  He claims that during the six days that he negotiated with the pirates, a number of them became sick and died.

“That ship is unusual,” Osman said, “It is not carrying a normal shipment.”

Andrew Mwangura, the director of the Kenyan based East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme [sic], also knew of the dead and dying pirates.  Mwangura told the South African “Sunday Times”: “We don’t know exactly how many, but the information that I am getting is that some of them have died.  There is something very wrong about that ship.”

The “Iran Deyanat” is owned and operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), a state-owned company run by the Iranian military.  The ship had picked up its cargo in Nanjing, China. 
Just what that cargo consists of, is a question quite a few folks would like answered.  A high-ranking Puntland official told The Long War Journal “I can say the ship is of interest to a lot of people.”

The Iranian “news” source, Press TV,said that the United States, believing that the ship might be carrying radioactive material, offered $7 million to board and search the ship.  U.S. officials have declined to comment.

Reportedly, at least 16 pirates have died to date.  Their symptoms have led many to suspect that they died of radiation poisoning.

So what is the “Iran Deyanat” carrying?  Nobody’s talking.  Where was it headed?  Nobody knows. 

But where there’s smoke there’s fire, and there’s no denying that the “Iran Deyanat” is hot – in more ways than one.

Conjectures about the ship’s cargo and mission run the gamut, from supplying chemical/biological weapons to Al-Qaeda; to serving as a floating “dirty bomb,” designed for exploding off the shore of Israel.

If Obama’s elected POTUS, he can ask Iranian President Ahmadinejad all about it, over tea and crumpets at the White House.  No conditions.


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Jim ONeill -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Born June 4, 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Served in the U.S. Navy from 1970-1974 in both UDT-21 (Underwater Demolition Team) and SEAL Team Two.  Worked as a commercial diver in the waters off of Scotland, India, and the United States.  Worked overseas in the Merchant Marines.  While attending the University of South Florida as a journalism student in 1998 was presented with the “Carol Burnett/University of Hawaii AEJMC Research in Journalism Ethics Award,” 1st place undergraduate division.  (The annual contest was set up by Carol Burnett with money she won from successfully suing a national newspaper for libel).  Awarded US Army, US Navy, South African, and Russian jump wings.  Graduate of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School, 1970).  Member of Mensa, China Post #1, and lifetime member of the NRA and UDT/SEAL Association.

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