FARS reports Iranian military submarines reportedly entering Red Sea for first time to collect info, identify other countries' combat vessels; report comes after previous Iranian ships sent to combat piracy in Gulf.
By YAAKOV KATZ
The Islamic Republic announced on Tuesday that it sent submarines to the Red Sea.“Iranian military submarines entered the Red Sea waters with the goal of collecting information and identifying other countries’ combat vessels,” Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported.RELATED:Iranian ships have re-entered Red Sea from Suez CanalIt did not specify the number or type of vessels involved but said they were sailing alongside warships from the Iranian Navy’s 14th Fleet.Then decision to send the submarines to the Red Sea was the latest in a series of naval provocations by the Iranians and came after Iran sent warships through the Suez Canal in February for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In May, the Bandar Abbas warship and the Shahid Naqdi destroyer were sent to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden.“The fleet entered the Gulf of Aden region in May and has now entered the Red Sea in the continuation of its mission,” Fars said.Concern in Israel is that the Iranian ships and submarines will patrol the Red Sea and try to track Israeli naval operations there.Israel, according to foreign reports, has operated frequently in recent years in the Red Sea as well as in the Gulf of Aden to stop Iranian weapons shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.The Iranian ships could gather intelligence on Israeli vessels and accompany weapons shipments en route to Lebanon and Gaza.Iran announced last August it had expanded its fleet of domestically built 120-ton Ghadir midget-class submarines to 11 that it said would be used to patrol the Gulf and the Sea of Oman.Reuters contributed to this report.
Related Tagssuez canalred sea
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