Wednesday Mar 07, 201202:47 PM GMT
Iran says warships to cross Suez Canal
The Suez Canal
Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:41PM
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An Iranian Navy official has confirmed reports that two Iranian warships are to cross the Suez Canal, a strategic international shipping route in Egypt.


According to the official, the vessels are on their way to the Suez Canal.

He said that the Iranian officials were in contact with officials in Cairo to secure the Iranian vessels' passage, adding that Egyptian authorities believed there was nothing wrong with the passage.

Earlier, a Suez Canal official said no Iranian warship was on the waiting list to cross the waterway.

“We did not receive any request for the passage of Iranian warships," Authority Ahmed al-Manakhly, the head of the canal's operations room, said.

"Any warship needs approval from the defense ministry and the foreign ministry. We have seen no such approval. Before they pass, I need to have such an approval in my hand," he added.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had earlier claimed that the Iranian warships' plan to sail through the canal was an act of provocation.

AR/MB/AKM
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