Three weeks after Israeli troops killed nine activists on a ship bound for Gaza, Iran has decided not to send its own aid ship. Hossein Sheikholeslam, secretary-general of the International Conference for the Support of the Palestinian Intifada, explained that Iran would use other means to deliver goods. "The Zionist regime has made helping the people of Gaza, who are under siege, a political issue and we do not wish to politicize this kind of humanitarian aid because first and foremost we want the siege of Gaza to be broken," he said. The Israel Defense Force argued that it has the right to inspect any shipment bound for Gaza and instructs foreign agencies to channel them through the port of Ashdod. "It is important that we maintain this right and we cannot let the Gaza Strip turn into an Iranian port,” one IDF officer said.