Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Two Iranian vessels enter Suez Canal
It is thought that the vessels are the first two to have passed through the waterway since Iran's Islamic Revolution, in 1979. They entered the “canal at 0545 (0345 GMT)".
Egyptian officials have been assured by Iran that the ships contain no military equipment or nuclear materials. The only way Egypt could have denied transit through the strategic waterway is if there was a threat of war. The Iranian ships are to be based at a Syrian port, thus solidifying the close ties between Damascus and Tehran.
Israel is concerned about Iran's latest undertaking as it considers the Islamic Republic a threat due to its controversial nuclear programme and support of Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups.
Last week, Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: "To my regret, the international community is not showing readiness to deal with the recurring Iranian provocations. The international community must understand that Israel cannot forever ignore these provocations.”
Sources: BBC News, Washington Post, Jerusalem Post, AFP
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