Iranian ships docked at Syrian port lead to Israeli worries
20 Feb 2012 12:01
Islam Times - The Israeli regime has publicized its worries about the presence of two Iranian naval ships at the Syrian port of Tartus, declaring that the ships would be watched “very closely” in case they come near its waters.
“If the boats come near our territorial waters, we will monitor them very closely," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said on Sunday.
Two Iranian Navy ships docked at the Syrian port of Tartus on Saturday to provide maritime training to naval forces of Syria under an agreement signed between Tehran and Damascus a year ago.
The Iranian fleet, consisting of a destroyer and a supply ship, arrived at the port, situated 220 kilometers (136 miles) northwest of the Syrian capital of Damascus on Friday, upon obtaining authorization from the Egyptian armed forces a day earlier to sail along the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea on their way to the Syrian coastal waters.
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said Sunday night that the presence of Iranian warships in the international waters is reflective of the Islamic Republic’s naval might.
Brigadier General Vahidi pointed out that such overseas presence was within Iran's rights, adding that the Iranian Navy’s missions abroad were based on policies aimed at enhancing Iran's naval capabilities and readiness.
On Saturday, Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that the country’s 18th fleet had sailed through Egypt’s Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea.
This was the second time that an Iranian naval fleet passed through the waterway since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
The Suez Canal cuts through Egypt and allows shipping to pass from the Middle East to Europe and vice versa without sailing around the southern tip of Africa.