Iran Ups its Anti-Israeli Ante

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With protests gathering steam in Bahrain, demonstrations reported in Libya, and clashes between pro- and anti-government movements in Yemen, Iran has exacerbated Middle Eastern tensions even further with its reported plan to send two warships through the Suez Canal. Israeli government officials and the Israeli Navy are closely monitoring two Iranian warships, which are anticipated to make a rare crossing of the Suez Canal. This would be the first time since 1979 the Iranian Navy has used the canal, and it is believed the ships’ destination is Syria. The Iranians, it was reported, are planning to send a “fleet” to the Mediterranean for a year.

With Mubarak having stepped down only days ago, the vessels’ appearance in the canal and in the Mediterranean is obviously meant to provoke and challenge Israel, which first alerted the world to the Iranian design. In this, the Iranians have succeeded. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the ships’ movements would be closely followed and “friendly states updated,” while Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the Iranian move “a provocation that proves Iranians’ overconfidence.” Lieberman also castigated the international community for allowing “the recurring Iranian provocations,” indicating Israel’s patience may be coming to an end.

“The international community must understand that Israel cannot forever ignore these provocations,” said Lieberman.

The ships themselves appear to oppose no real danger to Israel’s military. They are described as a British-built frigate dating from the 1960s and a supply ship. The arms embargo the United States imposed on the Iranian regime after the 1979 revolution has left the Iranian military, three decades later, outfitted with mostly aged equipment from the shah’s time. Attempts have been made to smuggle in spare parts, modern weaponry and technology, but this has met with limited success. Many of the smugglers have also simply wound up in Western prisons.

China enjoys friendly relations with Iran and has sold it some modern arms, principally because the Persian Gulf country is a major source of oil for its expanding economy. Russia was also going to sell its modern S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to the Iranians to upgrade their 1970s-era air defense system but backed off due to the anger the proposed sale aroused in Israel and among Western states. The new, home-built weapons systems the Iranians announce from time to time also never seem to make it into production after the initial photo-op and are probably meant solely for propaganda purposes. This may include the new warship the Iranians unveiled a year ago, the Jamaran.

But while the two Iranian ships currently making their way to the  Mediterranean may be museum pieces, their possible cargo could be another, and more deadly, story. War materials for Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, have been discovered on other Syria-bound ships in the past. In 2009, US soldiers found containers of ammunition for Kalashnikov rifles on a German-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Suez that was heading for Syria. The ship had been leased to Iran. The same year, Israeli forces boarded another freighter, allegedly outbound from Iran, and came upon an arsenal of weapons, bombs, artillery shells and rockets destined for Hezbollah. Much of the weaponry Hezbollah now possesses, including UAVs used over Israeli territory, originated in Iran.

Although in a coalition government with other parties, Hezbollah now essentially rules Lebanon. After its 34-day war with Israel in 2006, the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for the Shiite militia to disarm. Instead, Hezbollah has made Lebanon a client state of Iran, which is rearming its proxy with even deadlier weapons, preparing it for the next round of war with the Jewish State.

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  • jemc50

    Not the first time Persia (Iran) has had ships in the Mediterranean. The Greeks knew how to handle them at Salamis.

    Regardless, this does not bode well for Israel or the U.S.

  • ApolloSpeaks


    Don't say we didn't warn you. Very soon as I predicted many of you who are euphoric over Egypt's revolution are going to miss Hosni Mubarak; many of you will start to appreciate his heroic defiance* of the mad, America hating, anti-Semitic Egyptian people to resume the insane legacy of Abdel Nasser and turn against Israel and the West. But now the Egyptian military is wasting little time moving in that direction as is evident from allowing Iranian warships through the Suez Canal-to the cheers of the Moslem Brothers. This has never happened before.


    • chickenhawk

      Amen and Amen… ApolloSpeaks…. Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ApolloSpeaks

    !Also unprecedented are the Saudis allowing these jihadi ships to dock at Jeddah. For Mubarak's demise shook the confidence of America's regional allies in what is a radical powershift away from Washington toward Tehran. We are in a new and deadly era where the Axis of Terror and Evil is gaining strength and tightening its noose around the neck of nuclear armed Israel-a nation that will turn the Middle East into a wasteland where "the living will envy the dead" if faced with defeat and death. I say it again: "all catastrophes are possible in the age of Barack Obama," as he leads this nation and world into a time of conflict and war.

    • Supreme_Galooty

      You certainly express it in a nutshell, understandable by any who care to ponder the idiosyncratic difficulties all too numerous in a region populated those jolly Musselmen. The situation is even more fraught with peril when you consider our nation is led by a person who is not only a monumental accretion of glib mediocrity, but also a shameless self promoter who is as vacuous and intellectually deficient as any I have laid my eyes upon. That the (man) is thus cannot be reasonably denied by anyone with an eye to see or an ear to hear.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The one thing that would now unite Iranians and get them behind their leaders again would be an attack by Israel or the United States.

    Actually, I believe the opposite would happen, an attack targeted at the Mullahocracy and the IRGC but not at the Iranian people, would I believe encourage anti-regime opposition to overthrow the Mullahs. However, I suffer no delusions that whatever would replace the Mullahocracy would be a Western style democracy, but whatever emerged certainly couldn’t be as bad as what we have today. Not to mention that because of an impending demographic collapse in approximately 20 years, Iran’s days in the sun would be numbered.

    In any event, we may not have any other choice in the matter as Iran must never be allowed to acquire nukes, as a nuclear armed Iran would result in permanently skyrocketing oil prices, which would devastate the West’s economies, and which is why the Russians have been so eager to help Iran. It would also result in nuclear proliferation throughout the Sunni Islamic world.

  • exchangerates

    Great news,Erdogan will end up like that other American puppet ,saddam,hanging at the of his strings.inshallah!

    • Rifleman

      Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? H*ll no!

  • Gamaliel Isaac

    No danger? What if there is a nuclear bomb aboard one of those ships that is ignited in a suicide mission of Israel's coast.

  • ApolloSpeaks

    !Update: Cancelation Of Crisis

    Hat tip to Shlomo ben Ami for informing me on this morning's Reuters report that the Iranian warships didn't pass through the Suez last night as planned. Why this happened isn't clear. But Israel raising a justified stink over it was the probable cause. But as Shlomo points out the warships docking at Jiddah for ten days was in itself an ominous development that points to the new reality emerging in the Middle East with Iran replacing America as the regional power.


  • ApolloSpeaks

    As Mubarak was Iran's enemy the mullahs have taken his fall on the 32nd anniversary of their revolution as a DIVINE SIGN that God and history are on their side and that His plan is for them to prevail in unifying Islam and restoring the caliphate. But with the docking of Iran's warships at Jiddah what began back in 2006 with the Gulf Cooperation Council's invitation to Ahmadinejad to address their group (and a Saudi invitation to Mecca to do a hajj) the appeasing of Iran continues as US power, prestige and credibility decline with its MidEast and other allies.

    Click my name to read my widely posted piece: Nasserism, the Egyptian People and the Downfall of Mubarak.

  • BLJ

    The only thing these savages understand is force. Sink the ships and take out any other military hardware and forces they decide to send in the area. Keep it up until they either back off or are eliminated from the face of the planet.

  • Stephen_Brady

    As soon as the Iranian ships clear Egyptian territorial waters, the Israelis should blow them to pieces. If we had a President with cojones, we'd do it, ourselves.

  • Alex

    “…the malodorous miasma of gall, social engineering zeal, anti-Semitism and Arabist agenda that emanates from the Obama administration.”
    George Jonas, Columnist, National Post

  • JosephWiess

    I would let the ships sail through the canal, but I'd search them if they try to enter any blockaded seaport. Barring that, I'd simply blockade any hezbollah port, and if they try to enter, let them make the first attack and send those 1970's ships to Davy Jones Locker.

  • hijinx60

    If the Iranian ships enter the Suez Canal Zone, they would be a sitting target if Israel decides to attack. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel, and would eliminate a portion of Iran's fleet with crippling effect. Egypt wouldn't like it and most likely respond with some kind of "sound and fury signifying nothing." However Syria might just enter the fray and WWIII would begin.

  • Rick_in_VA

    It wouldn't surprise me if they scuttled the ships themselves and then try to blame Israel for it.
    Since they don't value life, they would think they were going to be heroes in the afterlife.

  • Terry

    There will certainly be no danger from the fascist regime's ships if Israel summarily sinks them.

  • Dobermite


  • Rifleman

    No need to waste an AGM-84 Harpoon on that boat, a couple of AGM-64 Mavericks ought to do the job.

  • joel

    Recently President Obama could not bring himself to say Israel. He said countries like Israel. No country in the middle east is like Israel, a democracy! How about countries like the US,Mr President? Also,the author of the above article state "possibly" Iran wants to develope nucs to try to wipe Israel off the map. Not possibly but positively!

  • Eddie

    If the US or India or Israel suffer a nuke attack, mecca and the kabba will be totally destroyed in retaliation. An islamofascist attack would trigger the permanent end of the hajj convention.

    Ditto median, qom. The islamofascist world is "target rich".

    • ajnn

      unfortunately, i doubt anyone believes that. there is very little 'deterrance' available.

      • Eddie

        ajnn, I strongly disagree. We know that islamofascists are willing to destroy themselves because they believe they will end up in "paradise", entertained by 72 virgins.

        The main pressure point is mecca. They can't even move mecca. They travel to mecca. The threat to destroy mecca, in retaliation, is a valid threat.

        The question is do Muslims love mecca more than they hate the US, India, Israel, Infidels?

      • Eddie

        ajnn, I strongly disagree. We know that islamofascists are willing to destroy themselves because they believe they will end up in "paradise", entertained by 72 virgins.

        The main pressure point is mecca. They can't even move mecca. They travel to mecca. The threat to destroy mecca, in retaliation, is a valid threat.

        The question is do Muslims love mecca more than they hate the US, India, Israel, Infidels?

  • deserteagle

    can israeli ships pass thru?