Egypt agrees to let 2 Iranian vessels transit Suez Canal

News agency says authorities approve request from Iranian diplomats who offer assurances that ships won't have nuclear or chemical material.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 18, 2011 19:17
1 minute read.
Iranian warship IIPA Alborz [file]

iran warship 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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CAIRO  — State media on Friday said Egypt has agreed to let two Iranian naval vessels transit the Suez Canal.

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

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

On Thursday, the two Iranian naval vessels submitted a request to transit the Suez Canal, Egypt's Foreign Ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said Egyptian authorities received the request to grant the vessels passage, while a Suez Canal official said the Defense Ministry would process the application.

Iran denied claims Thursday that it had canceled plans to send two warships through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea, saying that despite various media reports the vessels were on their way to Syria.



On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman first called attention to the Iranian intentions during a speech to the Conference of President of Major American Jewish Organizations, terming the move a “provocation” and calling on the world to “put the Iranians in their place.”

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