David Calling

The David Pryce-Jones blog.

MV Iran Deyant


Anyone who googles MV Iran Deyant will find hundreds of entries, all more or less identical, and all from hardened bloggers, as far as I can see. They tell the story of a ship purportedly owned by the Iranian government, and sailing with a cargo of radioactive sand that was to be released off the coast of Israel to kill many people.

In August, the Deyant is supposed to have left Nanjing in China, with falsified shipping documents and its containers locked. Rounding the Horn of Africa, the ship was boarded by Somali pirates and escorted to a Somali harbour. When the pirates broke open a container, they found “gritty sand-like contents.”  Health complications followed and within two weeks sixteen pirates died. Negotiations for a ransom with the Iranian authorities came to nothing. American, French and Russian naval units are alleged to have the Deyant under supervision, and from the Russians comes the idea that she is “an enormous dirty floating bomb.” Here in short is the “long-anticipated Iranian attack on Israel.”  The details related are so identical, as well as so very circumstantial, that they suggest that there may indeed be a single source.

Only a few years back, of course, the Iranians did send on this route a ship, the Karine B, with a load of arms to be used against Israel by Yasser Arafat’s PLO. The Deyant embroiders that theme.  However, a scientifically minded friend informs me that radioactive sand is not likely in fact to kill a lot of victims, because an inbuilt process of vitrification dispels the toxicity rather fast. The whole story sounds as if it emerged from the imagination of a thriller writer with the plotting skills of a Frederick Forsyth, and who has an interest in depicting the Iranian regime as inhuman and monstrous.

No mainstream media have picked the story up, again as far as I know. If it’s all invention put about for the credulous, as I suspect, it is fascinating that the modern technology of the internet should be the perfect medium for spreading conspiracy theories all over the world, and creating devilish fears that might have come straight out of the Dark Ages.


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