Iran has reported that its naval ships crossed the Suez Canal to the
Mediterranean Sea. On Feb. 20, Iran's semi-official Alam television said two
Iranian Navy ships sailed through the canal into the eastern Mediterranean
"Israel takes a grave view of this Iranian step," Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Also In This Edition
Egypt did not report the canal crossing. But officials of the
military-led regime in Cairo acknowledged that the Iranian Navy was granted
permission to cross the Suez Canal.
Permission for the canal crossing was said to have been given to Iran in
January 2010, when the Iranian Navy prepared for its first mission in the
Mediterranean. Officials said the Iranian frigates were expected to dock in
both Syria and Turkey. They said the first stop would be the Russian-built
naval base in the Syrian port of Latakia.
Despite its protest, Israel was not expected to block passage of the
Iranian Navy. The Israel Navy was said to have been on alert for any
approach by the Iranian vessels.
"We can see what an unstable region we live in, an area in which Iran is
trying to take advantage of the situation that has arisen and broaden its
influence by transferring two warships via the Suez Canal," Netanyahu said.