Suez Canal
Photo: AFP

Egypt approves passage of Iranian warships

Iranian warships to pass through Suez Canal; Tehran: They won't carry weapons

Egypt has approved the passage of two Iranian warships through the Suez Canal, a source said on Friday, a move that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman previously described as "provocative."


"Egypt has agreed to the passage of two Iranian ships through the Suez Canal," the security source told Reuters.


State TV and the official news agency subsequently reported the news, without citing sources. An army source earlier said the Defense Ministry was considering a request by the Iranians to allow the naval ships to cross the strategic waterway.


State-run news agency MENA said Friday that authorities approved a request from Iranian diplomats who offered assurances that the two ships won't have weapons or nuclear or chemical material.


The two ships would be the first Iranian military vessels to pass through the canal since Iran's 1979 revolution.


To navigate the strategic waterway, naval vessels need the approval of Egypt's Foreign and Defence Ministries.


The Suez Canal Authority had yet to receive approval, a canal official said, adding that the next convoy from south to north would be at 6 am (0400 GMT).



The move had been widely expected and Iranian officials have insisted the request is in line with international regulations. They say the two vessels are headed to Syria for training.


AP contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 02.18.11, 19:08
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