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Iranian warships enter Mediterranean - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Iranian warships have entered the Mediterranean Sea after crossing through the Suez Canal to show Tehran's "might" to regional states, the country's navy commander has said.

Reacting to the news on Saturday, Israeli foreign ministry denounced the deployment as a "provocation" and a "power play." Israel said it will be watching the ship's movements closely to ensure they do not approach its coast.

"The strategic navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has passed through the Suez Canal for the second time since the [1979] Islamic Revolution," Admiral  Habibollah Sayari said in remarks quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

Sayari did not say how many vessels had crossed the canal or what missions they were planning to carry out in the Mediterranean, but said the flotilla had previously docked in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

Two Iranian ships, the destroyer Shahid Qandi and supply vessel Kharg, had docked in the Red Sea port on February 4, according to Iranian media.

Sayari said the naval deployment to the Mediterranean would carry a "message of peace" and but also put on display "the might" of Iran's military.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:12:37 PM EST
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