Israel has moved warships to the Red Sea port of Eilat, an IDF spokeswoman confirmed to The Mideast Update, although she noted that such procedures are routine. The routine move follows reports of IDF reinforcement of its presence in the south of the country in light of a terror warning.
In a separate and likely unrelated matter, the Iranians have also decided to move additional naval vessels into the Red Sea, according to Iran’s Press TV. Citing a report from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari was reported to have said the fleet will consist of a warship and a submarine. They are set to be deployed to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Sayyari said the vessels would present Iran’s capabilities while patrolling the seas and fighting against pirates. The Gulf of Aden is an area known to have pirate attacks.
Despite the obvious military message conveyed by the naval vessels, Sayyari claimed that “the presence of Iran’s Army in the high seas will convey the message of peace and friendship to all countries.”
This isn’t the first time Iran has sent ships into the Red Sea, which is a key waterway that passes Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Egypt. It eventually reaches the Israeli port city of Eilat as well, although that is well off the main route through the Red Sea.
The Red Sea is also linked to the Mediterranean Sea by the Egyptian-controlled Suez Canal. Based on the Press TV report, this time the Iranians did not announce intentions to cross the Suez, which they have done in the past.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 30, 2011)