Iran confronts Israel at Red Sea

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On December 11, the United Press International (UPI), owned by the Unification Church, published an anti-Sudan-Iran propaganda news item, titled ‘Israel, Iran vie for control of Red Sea’.

The Red Sea, a key shipping route, is becoming an arena of confrontation between Israel and Iran, with Sudan and Eritrea key targets by both sides in a strategic contest that’s likely to intensify in the months ahead,” began the article.

Anyone, who has seen map of the Middle East will know that it’s land-locked Israel which needs Red Sea for its import/export activities. Iran, contrary to that, has several land routes through Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq to handle such activities. However, Iran does need a strong navy presence in the Persian Gulf especially its national interests in the Strait of Harmuz. It also needs a powerful navy to help its friendly states in the region (Syria, Sudan, Lebanon and Gaza) in stopping the Zionist entity from exploiting their oil and water resorces discovered under the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, which connects the coasts of Lebanon, Gaza, Cyprus and Israel.

Islamist government in Khartoum has long developed close relation with Tehran to counter Israeli aggression. Eritrea, a Muslim-majority country, strategically located on the Horn of Africa, has a long history of Israeli military involvement during its decades-long occupation by the Christian-ruled Ethiopia. Former Ethopian King Haile Selassie’s 3100-strong ‘Emergency Police’ was trained and armed by the Israeli forces and Mossad. The King had allowed Israel to build its second largest naval base outside Israel at Eritrea’s Dahlak’s Island on the shore of the Red Sea. Israel has used this base for conducting intelligence-gathering operations and bullying African states.

Israel intends to station some of its German supplied four nuclear submarine  at this base in Eritrea. Eritrea received its independence from Christian-ruled Ethiopia in 1991 after a long bloody resistance. As the result, Ethiopia lost its two ports Massawa and Assab on the Red Sea. The other ports on the Red Sea, are Suez and Al Qusayr in Egypt, Port Sudan and Sawakin in Sudan, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, and Al Hudaydah and Mocha (Al Mukha) in Yemen.

Eritrea (popl. 3.5 million) a former Ottoman territory, was occupied by Italy after WW I. In 1952, United Nations gave Eritrea to Ethiopia as a ‘gift’. Anyone holding Eritrea controlled the southern entrance to the Red Sea, and thus all traffic between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. Moreover, Eritrea provides a port opening onto the sea for Ethiopia (popl. 85 million – 50% Christians, 50% Muslims).

Theodor Herzl chaired the first conference of World Zionist Congress in Basel (Switzerland) on August 29, 1897. The main agenda of the conference was to campaign for the establishment of Eretz-Israel (Greater Israel) in Ottoman Palestine by applying every mean to populate Palestine with European Jews. The leaders of the Zionist organization, even then, had realized the strategic importance of the Red Sea (which leads to Suez Cannal, Mediterranean and Dead Sea) being the only Sea route open to their land-locked Eretz-Israel dream. The proposed map of Eretz-Israel which was presented by Theodor Herzl (d. 1904), wrote in his Diaries, vol. II, page 711: “The area of Jewish State stretches from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrate”. This map of future Eretz Israel inscribed on Israel’s 10-agora coin, showing the Zionist entity stretching from “the Mediterranean to Mesopotamia and from Red Sea to Euphrate and upto Medinnah in Saudi Arabia.”.
 
For decades, thanks to pro-US regimes contolling Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia (Eritrea) and Yemen – Israel’s Navy and shipping have dominated the Red Sea. Last year, Iranian navy ships passed through Suez Canal for the first time after 30 years. Since then, Iran has been building its regional contact to confront Israel’s naval supremacy in the Red Sea.
 
Late in October, the Iranian Navy’s 22nd fleet of warship had docked in Port Sudan for the first time. In February 2012, two Iranian naval vessels docked at Syrian port of Tartous for the first time. In December 2012, two Iranian war ships reached Port of Sudan after passing through the strategic Strait of Bab el-Mandeb and Red Sea. Iran’s action was in response to Israel’s recent bombing of a Khartoum military factory and 8-day airstrikes over Gaza Strip.
 
The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen. Israelis are suspected of being behind some of the Red Sea pirates.
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