Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

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EGYPT: Government will allow two Iranian warships through Suez Canal, state media report

February 18, 2011 |  9:05 am

The Egyptian government has approved Iran's request for two of its warships to pass through the Suez Canal, state media reported from Cairo Friday.

The transit request had been vehemently opposed by Israel, whose foreign minister described the proposed passage en route to Syria as "a provocation."

Egyptian military sources had reported earlier that Iran had given assurances that the warships weren't carrying military equipment or nuclear components.

The ships were reported to be waiting in the Red Sea, south of the Gulf of Suez. It was not immediately clear when they would transit the strategic waterway to the Mediterranean Sea for the voyage that would take them along the length of Israel's coastline en route to Syria.

-- Carol J. Williams