Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Fashion, what's happened in 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France: 2014 in review

Read more

#THE 51%

South Africa: Taking a stand against child marriage

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

Middle east

Iranian warships cross Suez canal into Mediterranean

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-18

In a provocative move Saturday, Iranian warships entered the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal in a move designed to show Iranian “might” to regional countries, according to navy commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari.

AFP - Iranian warships entered the Mediterranean Sea after crossing the Suez Canal on Saturday in a move aimed at showing Iran's "might" to regional countries, navy commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari said.

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

He 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 show "the might" of the Islamic republic to regional countries, and also convey Tehran's "message of peace and friendship."

The announcement comes amid heightened tensions over Iran's nuclear programme and rising speculation that Israel might launch pre-emptive strikes against Iranian facilities.

The first Iranian presence in the Mediterranean in February 2011 provoked strong reactions from Israel and the United States, with the Jewish state putting its navy on alert.

Iran's navy has been boosting its presence in international waters since last year, deploying vessels to the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden on missions to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates.
 

Date created : 2012-02-18

  • IRAN

    Defiant Iran showcases nuclear advances

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY

    'Courage' needed to avert war between Israel and Iran

    Read more

  • ISRAEL

    Israel accuses Iran over bomb attacks in India and Georgia

    Read more

COMMENT(S)