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02/22/11

Reports: Iranian Naval Ships Enter Suez Canal

Source: RFE/RL

Reports say two Iranian naval ships have entered the Suez Canal. It is the first time Iranian naval vessels have gone through the canal since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The Reuters news agency quoted an official as saying the Iranian ships entered before 6 a.m. local time on February 22 and were heading toward the Mediterranean.

The AFP news agency also quoted an official as saying Iranian ships had entered the canal.

The Iranian ships are reportedly destined for Syria, to participate in training exercises.

Iranian rival Israel has called the transit of the Iranian ships through the canal a provocation aimed at expanding Iranian influence amid the recent unrest in the Middle East.

Egypt's ruling military council approved the passage of the Iranian vessels through the canal, a key global trade route, following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak on February 11.

compiled from agency reports


Copyright (c) 2011 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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