ISMAILIA, Egypt - Two Iranian naval ships, whose passage through the
to the Mediterranean last month Israel described as a
"provocation", will return via the canal to the Red Sea on Thursday, an
Coinciding with political turmoil in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab
world, Iran's decision to send warships close to Israeli territory has
rattled politicians in the Jewish state.
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The ships arrived on Feb. 23 in Syria, an ally of Iran and enemy of
Israel, after passing through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, the
first Iranian navy vessels to do so since Iran's 1979 Islamic
"Tomorrow (Thursday), the Iranian ships will cross the canal with the
convoy starting in the north from the Mediterranean," a canal official,
who asked not to be named, told Reuters, adding that they would head
through the canal on Thursday morning.
Iran's navy has said the ships, a naval frigate and a supply ship, were
not performing any military exercises but were on a routine friendly
visit, carrying a "message of peace and friendship" to the world.