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Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Iran still plans to send ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, despite earlier reports to the contrary, a top official said Sunday.
Mohammad Reza Sheibani, the deputy foreign minister in charge of Arab affairs, denied reports that Iran had abandoned the idea because of threats from Israel.
"The program to send (humanitarian) aid ships to Gaza by people's organizations and NGOs is still on the agenda of the Islamic Republic," he told reporters, according to a report in the semi-official Mehr news agency.
"The Zionist regime has sent a letter to the U.N. saying that the presence of Iranian and Lebanese ships in the Gaza area will be considered a declaration of war on that regime and it will react to it," he said, according to the news agency.
He added: "In order to deprive the Zionist regime of any excuse, the aid collected for the oppressed people of Gaza will be delivered to them by other means without mentioning the name of Iran."