Continued from page 2

The move appeared aimed at easing U.S. concerns that Iraq has become a route for shipments of Iranian military supplies that might help Syrian President Bashar Assad battle rebels in his country’s civil war.

The head of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority, Nassir Bandar, said the inspection took place Saturday.

The inspectors allowed the plane to continue its flight after they determined that no weapons were aboard, he said.

“Our experts found that the plane was carrying only medical supplies and foodstuffs,” Mr. Bandar said, “so the flight was allowed to proceed.”

Mr. Bandar said Iraqi authorities would continue searching planes suspected of transporting arms to Syria.

Iraqi officials have said repeatedly that they would not allow their country or airspace to be a corridor for arms shipments to either Syrian government forces or rebels.

Iraq ordered another Iranian cargo plane to land for inspection on Oct. 2. No weapons were found in that search, either.


Sicily vote provides test for national elections

MILAN — Sicilian elections on Sunday were providing a key testing ground for Italy’s political parties before national elections in the spring to replace the technical government of Premier Mario Monti.

Ten candidates were vying for governor of one of Italy’s most important regions in the election, which was called after the resignation of Gov. Raffaele Lombardo amid concerns that the region risked insolvency and after his indictment on charges of Mafia association. He has denied the charges.

Turnout by midday was 11 percent, up from the elections in 2008 which was 10 percent at the same time.

The region of about 5 million inhabitants and, with an unemployment rate of nearly 20 percent, is considered a barometer for national elections.

Italian political parties are jockeying for strategies to retake power in Rome when the mandate for Mr. Monti’s government expires.

From wire dispatches and staff reports