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Iranian warships in Suez Canal

February 22nd, 2011 by David No Comments

An Iranian frigate and an accompanying replenishment vessel have entered the Suez Canal, en route for the Mediterranean, according to Egyptian officials.

Iran says the two ships, named Alvand and Kharg respectively, are headed for Syria, to carry out naval training exercises with friendly forces there.

Israel has condemned the deployment as a “provocation” designed to increase regional tensions in the weeks following Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s removal from power in Egypt and anti-establishment protests across much of the Arab world.

The Iranian vessels entered the canal at 05:45 local time (03:45 GMT), according to Suez Canal officials.

Iran said the ships do not carry military equipment, nuclear materials or chemicals, according to Egypt’s defence ministry.

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