Israel on high alert as Iran warships enter Med

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 16:02 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

JERUSALEM – Israel put its navy on high alert and said it would respond immediately to any “provocation” as two Iranian warships sailed through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean on Tuesday.

The Iranian vessels entered the southeastern Mediterranean after going up the canal for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, reportedly en route for Syria, in a move taking them past Israeli territorial waters.

Suez Canal officials confirmed the patrol frigate Alvand and support ship Kharg had completed the crossing after entering the narrow waterway at dawn.

A senior Israeli security source told AFP Israel would “not initiate any action” against the Iranian vessels, but if the Iranians deviated in any way that could be considered “a provocation” there would be an “immediate Israeli response.”

The Israeli navy immediately went on high alert and the troops were briefed on how to respond in such an event, he said.

The 1,500-tonne Alvand is normally armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, while the larger 33,000-tonne Kharg has a crew of 250 and facilities for up to three helicopters, Iran’s official Fars news agency has said.

Both ships were built in Britain during the 1970s for Iran, which ordered them before the Islamic revolution.

Neither ship is carrying chemical or nuclear material, Egypt’s state-run MENA news agency has reported.

Their passage into the eastern Mediterranean comes as the Arab world and the Middle East grapples with a vast wave of unrest and protests that is radically changing the political landscape, and leaving Israel increasingly concerned about its security.

“We are talking about an unprecedented Iranian military presence in the Mediterranean, and that is a provocation to which the international community must react firmly,” foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP earlier on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the ships’ arrival in the region as an Iranian power play, just days after his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, branded their voyage “a provocation.”

“Today we are witnessing the instability of the region in which we live and in which Iran is trying to profit by extending its influence by dispatching two warships to cross the Suez Canal,” he said.

“Israel views with gravity this Iranian initiative,” his office quoted him as saying.

Animosity between Iran and Israel has grown under the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly spoken of the Jewish state’s demise.

Israel also accuses Tehran of arming and funding Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Israel, which has the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear arsenal, suspects Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under cover of a civilian nuclear programme.

Tehran denies that charge and has in turn accused Israel of trying to sabotage its nuclear programme and kill its nuclear scientists.

Israel has backed a US policy tougher UN sanctions against Iran while remaining open to dialogue.

But it has refused to rule out a resort to military action to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapons capability.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
  • Anonymous

    It is an international waterway, any state that is not at war with Egypt is allowed to pass through it by international law. Israel routinely uses the canal to send its warships mere miles off of the Iranian coast all the time. Should they respond to that provocation? Gawd I hate hypocrites.

  • ThorsteinVeblen2012

    Israel has threatened Iran with nuclear weaponed submarines off Iran’s coast for years. This isn’t even the shoe being on the other foot.

    The Israeli Navy has shelled Lebanon and Gaza, has maintained an illegal blockade, boarded and seized peace ships in international waters without opposition and committed murder. Now here comes a couple of ships that can shoot back.

    Maybe with Iranian escort the people of Gaza will get the food and supplies they need after “Operation Cast Lead” wantonly destroyed that area.

    Since the American Navy doesn’t seem willing to enforce international law or even protect their own ships as in the case of the USS Liberty maybe its time to let the Iranians have a try.

    The schoolyard bully doesn’t like to be threatened. Sorry I don’t have any sympathy for your plight.

  • Anonymous

    International Waters never stop Israel Pirates before, but no IOF helicopters nor Israeli Pirates will come rappelling down ropes to shoot unarmed passengers, there will be no seizing of vessels nor cargoes and forcing them to dock at Ashdod for a search and stealing of their $$$, valuables etc? I guess such actions the Israeli Pirates reserves only for unarmed vessels and passengers like those of the Mavi Marmara.

    The Iranian vessels in the Suez Canal are equal distance to Israel vessels in the Persian Gulf. What a bummer!

  • Anonymous

    I smell a USS Liberty incident……watch out.

  • TheDevilCanDance

    “Israel also accuses Tehran of arming and funding Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.”

    So what?, you arrogant freeloading sons of bitches are getting billions of dollars from the US and the UN.

  • mick

    “but if the Iranians deviated in any way that could be considered “a provocation” there would be an “immediate Israeli response.”"…isn’t that statement a threat against Iran ?
    Israel will pee in its pants before it attacks an Iranian ship, Israel only attacks near defenseless nations or civilians …”the worlds most moral army” ,yea right !

  • Fireblazes

    So the mighty state of Israel with its mighty arsenal and military excess is scared of one little patrol frigate and a supply ship. Over-reacting much?

  • Anonymous

    A nation of cowards. ONE little ship and tender and they go on high alert, yet if there is a flotilla of unarmed vessels they are all over it. The Israel should follow Egypt’s lead and demand a real government.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    This is an issue only due to Israel’s paranoia and drama on the high seas.

    Just two nights ago, they took a real cool approach to it:

    Israel monitoring Suez-bound Iran ships, but sees no real threat
    IDF source says that as long as the ships, as expected, stay outside Israel’s territorial waters and make no aggressive moves, there will be no confrontation.


    But that was then. When they were also dealing with the pressures of international condemnation as a result of the US veto of the UN Resolution on the settlements. And, oh, yeah! Even the EU let them have it.

    However, that crisis has been averted. Today, they are rejoicing the violence in Libya, probably licking their chops at the sight of the bloodshed and reminiscing about Gaza 2008-2009 and Lebanon 2006. So here go again. They’re all worried again, after they weren’t:

    Iran naval ships enter Suez Canal, says Egyptian official
    Israel says it takes a ‘grave view’ of the ships’ passage – the first Iranian naval vessels to go through the canal since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.


    I truly urge others to visit that article and read the comments. Those people are more venomous, racist, vicious and deluded than the Teabaggers and that’s hard to top.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    They’re drama queens. When the dust settles and all the ME goes into peace mode, these fucks will probably explode because they won’t have anybody to invade, bomb, occupy and be paranoid and dramatic over. Not to mention that peace will strip them of their eternal victimhood status and may even impair their welfare state status.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Or peace activists at high seas.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Naw, they don’t have the balls. USS Liberty was then. Today, they only go it at like pirates against peace activists, remember? They know that the Iranians will fight back. They’re too chicken shit for that.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    It’s not threat. It’s a fact:

    Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran

    Uzi Mahnaimi, Sunday Times, May 30, 2010


  • Johnny Warbucks

    And another interesting bit of news:

    Israel and U.S. successfully test anti-missile system

    The Arrow anti-missile system, jointly developed by Israel and the U.S., is primarily aimed at defending Israel from threat of Iran missile strike.


    Good thing the US is broke and that teachers and other low-level working people have to give up their pensions cause there’s no money. The sad thing is that the only reason why any country in their right mind would try to attack the US today is to take out Wall Street. Something that I think the world would cheer.

  • http://www.balmorheaprogressive.blogspot.com/ BaileyWuXiang

    Israel is hoping for a provocation. I think it would be nice if those Iranian warships ejected their toilet waste onto Israeli beaches. It could only improve the smell.

  • Anonymous

    Israelis are a cowards. They only attack defenseless people. Such as aid flotillas and Gazan civilians. They would only attack if they know for sure that big Daddy USA is behind them with their guns locked and loaded.
    They are excellent at 2 things:: False flag attacks and crying wolf. Google USS Liberty.

    Let me quote you something, that I thought was important, or at least the man who wrote it:

    In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

    -Washington’s Farewell Address 1796

  • Anonymous

    Just look at these hypocrites:

    1981: Israel Begins Selling US-Made Arms to Iran
    Edit event

    F-14 spare parts shipped to Iran.F-14 spare parts shipped to Iran. [Source: Reuben Johnson / Weekly Standard]Israeli officials secretly ask Reagan administration officials for authorization to transfer arms of US origin to Iran. Officials in the Departments of Defense and State have known of Israeli arms sales to Iran that predate Reagan’s installation as president and the freeing of the American hostages, and since Reagan’s ascension to power, plans for US arms sales to Iran have been in the works (see January 28, 1981). Secretary of State Alexander Haig tells Israel that it is acceptable “in principle” for Israel to sell only F-4 fighter plane parts, and the US must approve specific arms-sales lists in advance. It shortly becomes evident, according to State Department documents leaked years later to the press, that Israel is not submitting lists for approval, and is selling US-made arms to Iran far in excess of spare parts for a specific model of fighter jet. (By the mid-1980s, officials will acknowledge that several billion dollars’ worth of ammunition and parts worth would flow from Israel to Iran each year.) Little oversight is exercised on the arms sales; one US ambassador to the region will say in 1992, “[I]t is probable that those who were to serve as their proxies—Israel and private international arms dealers—had agendas of their own, and the end result was that more arms were shipped than anyone in the administration wanted.” The Israeli arms transfers also violate the Arms Export Control Act, which requires written permission from the US for a nation to transfer US-made arms to a third party, and requires the president to immediately inform Congress when such transfers take place. [New Yorker, 11/2/1992]


  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/UR4DHHC3P6RRXIUP4LWX54YN7I hu

    they’re good at whining about alleged victimhood too

  • Mr. Neutron

    When is paranoid, persecution-complex Israel not on “high alert” ?

  • http://ray032.com/ Ray Joseph Cormier

    Israel fired first in the ’67 war.

  • Anonymous

    We and Israel should just turn Tehran into cinders and be done with it.

  • http://ray032.com/ Ray Joseph Cormier

    What’s the big deal? A few months ago Israel sent submarines through the Suez to go to the Persian Gulf. I would think this is just Iran showing Israel it also has the right to travel in International waters.

  • Mr. Neutron

    You’re a Jew loving anti-American, nothing more.

    The USS Liberty incident was an Israeli attempt to sink an American ship and blame it on Egypt, thus dragging the Americans into a war on Israel’s behalf. This was the conclusion of retired U.S. Navy Admiral. Thomas Moorer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from July 1970 to June 1974 and chief of naval operations from 1967 to 1970:
    34 crew members were killed, 170 were wounded.
    The real question facing the American people is why the US Government seems more concerned with protecting Israel after they are caught playing these dirty tricks, rather than doing something to convince Israel not to kill any more Americans.

    Oh, and as for the WWII concentration camps, hey, shit happens in war.

  • maritimer

    And it’s time to cut the apron strings.

  • maritimer

    And Haaretz is their so-called liberal paper.

  • Taleisin

    You could at least wait until I voice an opinion before you condemn me.
    Then you threaten my wife with rape. You little charmer, you.
    Thanks for the intelligent debate.

  • maritimer

    “Oh, and as for the USS Liberty, hey, shit happens in war”

    A Zionist shows its true colors.

  • maritimer

    Get help Zionist. There are good meds out there now.

  • Anonymous

    Most of them are made in Israel asshole. Just wait till the arab world is “liberated” and they come for you and your sister. You would have loved to live in Israel at that point. There is a reason all these muslim countries are ruled by strong men. Muslim freedom is a bad thing, just ask Britain.

  • Anonymous

    What hypocritical Bastards these Israelis are.They are the ones provoking on almost daily basis and getting away with it.
    Things are changing in the Middle East and I hope the American people leave their naughty baby,Israel, at the UN’s door step.

  • TheDevilCanDance

    you clownish keyboard warrior, what are you waiting to enlist in the IDF?. Lol, the Iranians will make Kebab out of your tiny testicles :)

  • Guest

    Just one duly elected freedom loving leader visiting an equally duly elected freedom loving leader.

  • TheDevilCanDance

    Bla bla bla……Jew haters. antisemitic….You imbeciles are not getting bored of writing the same bullshit,over and over again.

    “shit happens in war”. absolutely, this is why Tel Aviv is fucking collateral. A Jewish life is worth an Arab or an Iranian life.

  • TheDevilCanDance

    Iranians have experience in insanity, they fought a 8 years war against Iraq,they don’t mind the casualties & they are really to sacrifice themselves.The Israelis are a bunch of loud mouth paper fighters,they are good at butchering unarmed civilians.but faced with real fighters with determination, the Israeli army is a shadow of itself.
    Without the Americans, the Israelis cannot even take a piss. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a maniac, this is why he is the one who can muzzle the Israeli mad dog, he is as arrogant and lunatic as the Israeli leadership.

  • TheDevilCanDance

    “they come for you and your sister…”
    Lol. I have news for you Teddy Bear, your sister is already bending over a Saudi,How do you think she can afford that Gucci bag :)

    You emasculated drama queen, if you are so scared of the Muslims. you should seek refuge in Israel.
    I have no idea how you can watch yourself in the mirror and live with yourself ,your hysterical fear of the Arabs is hilarious, you sound like a traumatized old lady :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KJJ4KEVT2Z5RDHTIRGJOUWL2EA Paul M

    Parasites and leeches. It´s going to be hell to get them out of our House and out of our Lives. Difficult?, Yes Impossibble?, No!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KJJ4KEVT2Z5RDHTIRGJOUWL2EA Paul M

    Boy, you really can Dance. That´s the spirit. It IS a redundant “chant”. Same lame defense. WE are finally reading the writing on the “MAIN” wall.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KJJ4KEVT2Z5RDHTIRGJOUWL2EA Paul M

    Now THAT describes them to a “T”. If they were not so dangerous, their rantings would almost be funny.

  • TheDevilCanDance

    There are decent Jews living in Israel, but they are a minority, those who oppose the genocidal policies of the Israeli State & the Zionist agenda,but the majority are silent or supporter of the ongoing ethnic cleansing.
    Most of Israelis who came after 1947 are land grabbing thieves , they should be expelled without any consideration, they are squatting lands that don`t belong to them, & living out of US and UN tax payers money.

  • TheDevilCanDance

    Correction. I am not a boy :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KJJ4KEVT2Z5RDHTIRGJOUWL2EA Paul M

    Now you see why this nation is in the state that it is in. It´s not like you could sit down and talk sense into delusional pathological paranoid people with no morals and expect to reach a sane reasonable, agreeable medium. Doesn´t seem likely. Now i know why these “Peace Accords” have not been a success.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    I’ve known for a long, long time. So long in fact, that I know called myself anti-semitic™ just to make it easier on them.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Exactly. The Jerusalem Post is their FAUX Nation. I can’t go there. I get sick every time I do.

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ hounddogg

    NEWS FLASH>>> Arabs are Semitic…

  • Jaimie11

    Descendants of Shem, son of Noah.