The Iranian ship Iran Deyanat was captured by Somali pirates on August 21st. Unfortunately, this is not a very unusual happening. Somali Pirates have captured well over 30 ships and held their cargo and crew for ransom. Ransom which most often gets paid.
But with the Iran Deyanat, the pirates seem to have got more than they bargained for according to the World Tribune.
"That ship is unusual," Somali Regional Energy Minister Hassan Allore Osman, who has been investigating the Iranian ship, said. "It is not carrying a normal shipment."
"We cannot inspect the cargo yet," Osman said. "But we are sure that it is weapons."
...Within days, the pirates sustained skin burns, lost hair and became critically ill. Soon after, at least 16 pirates died.
"We don't know exactly how many, but the information that I am getting is that some of them had died," Mwangura told the Sunday Times on Sept. 28. "There is something very wrong about that ship."
The speculation is that it's cargo was chemical weapons, or worse, nuclear material. According to The Long War Journal
The MV Iran Deyanat set sail from Nanjing, China, at the end of July and, according to its manifest, planned to travel to Rotterdam, where it would unload 42,500 tons of iron ore and "industrial products" purchased by a German client. Its arrival in the Gulf of Aden, Somali officials tell The Long War Journal, was suspiciously early. According to a publicly available status report on the IRISL Web site, the ship reached the Gulf on August 20 and was scheduled to reach the Suez Canal on August 27 - a seven day journey. "Depending on the speed of the ship," Puntland Minister of Ports Ahmed Siad Nur said in a phone interview on Saturday, "it should take between 4 and 5 days to reach Suez."
...the pirates told [Minister of Minerals and Oil Hassan Allore] Osman that they had attempted to inspect the ship's seven cargo containers after they developed health complications but the containers were locked. The crew claimed that they did not have the "access codes" and could not open them. The delegation secured contact with the captain and the engineer by cell phone and demanded to know the nature of the cargo, however, Osman says that "they were saying different things to different people." Initially they said that the cargo contained "crude oil" but then claimed it contained "minerals."
...In a strange twist, the Iranian press claims that the U.S. has offered to pay a $7 million bribe to the pirates to "receive entry permission and search the vessel." Officials in the Pentagon and the Department of State approached for this story refused to comment on the situation. Somali officials would also not comment on any direct U.S. involvement but one high-level official in the Puntland government told The Long War Journal "I can say the ship is of interest to a lot of people, including Puntland."
The exact nature of the cargo remains a mystery but officials in Puntland and Baidoa are convinced the ship was carrying weapons to Eritrea for Islamist insurgents. "We cannot inspect the cargo yet," Osman said, "but we are sure that it is weapons."
"Puntland requested the pirates two weeks ago to hand over this Iranian ship, saying that it is carrying weapons to Eritrea," Puntland Fisheries Minister Abdulqadir Muse Yusuf told Reuters. "I have seen food and other odd items on the ship but I do not know what is hidden underneath."
In reporting on this, the Canada Free Press sums things up
I hope somebody is trying to find out...