Cairo: Suez Canal officials say two Iranian naval vessels have entered the strategic waterway en route for the Mediterranean Sea.
Canal officials say the ships — a frigate and a supply vessel — entered the canal early Tuesday morning and are expected to reach the Mediterranean later in the day. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
This marks the first time in three decades that Iranian military ships have traveled the waterway that links the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.
Israel has made clear it views the passage as a provocation.
Iranian officials say the ships are headed to Syria for a training mission. Damascus is close ally of Iran's hardline Islamic rulers and an arch foe of Israel.
First Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 13:51