The Iranian Red Crescent announced on Monday that it will be sending two ships to Gaza this week.

AFP quoted the Red Crescent director for international affairs Abdolrauf Adibzadeh as saying: "One ship will carry donations made by the people and the other will carry relief workers. The ships will be sent to Gaza by end of this week."

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The decision to send aid ships follows earlier announcements by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Revolutionary Guards could be sent to protect ships sailing for Gaza. 

In 2009 Iran sent an aid ship which was intercepted and denied access to Gaza; a Lebanese ship was also stopped, although blood donations it was carrying were transferred to Gaza.

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