The Iranian daily Tehran Times has reported on February 22, 2011 that two Iranian battleships, Kharg and Alvand has crossed the Egyptian Suez Canal and has entered Mediterranean waters on their way to Syria to participate in a joint Iran-Syria training mission. This is the first time in years that an Iranian warship dock in a Syrian port. It’s also the first time an Iranian vessel of any kind has passed through the Suez Canal since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The new military junta in Cairo had earlier given permission to Iranian Navy for the move by ignoring protests from both Washington and Tel Aviv. The Zionist regime has taken the Iranian action as a signal that it’s prepared to help the Islamic Resistance groups in Gaza and Lebanon against any future Zionazi military attack. Ephraim Kam of the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel has echoed Israeli fear by saying: “Iran wants to say to the world, to the U.S., Israel and other countries in the Mideast that it has reach not only in areas close to it but also farther away, including in the Mediterranean….. Iran is also signaling to Israel that it is prepared to protect its allies Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon on Israel’s northern and southern flanks”.
Egyptian officials, citing an 1888 international convention regulating shipping, said Egypt had no choice but to permit passage to the Iranian vessels. The convention says the canal must be open “to every vessel of commerce or of war”. They also cited Egypt’s earlier permission to an Israeli Dolphin-class submarine, which is capable of firing nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.
Both the US and Israel claim that Iran is in the process of making a nuclear device while the US has over 9,000 nuclear bombs and Israel has 240-400 nuclear bombs. Furthermore, Israel is not signatory to NPT, but Iran is. The NPT allows Iran to pursue its civilian nuclear program.
The two Iranian in question are ships are the 33,000-ton refueling and support vessel Kharg and the 1,500-ton light patrol frigate Alvand. The Kharg has a crew of 250 and carry upto three helicopters. The Alvand is armed with Torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.