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US eyes Iranian warships in Mediterranean

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 15:27

Washington: The United States is
"watching carefully" two Iranian warships that entered the
Mediterranean Sea, officials said.

It was Iran`s first passage through the Suez Canal
since its 1979 Islamic revolution, and comes at a time of
widespread unrest roiling the Middle East. Israel has called
Tehran`s move a "hostile" act.

"We continue to monitor the movements of these ships
and their actions," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley
said yesterday. "We will be watching carefully to see where
these ships go and the implications of that."

Crowley said the decision authorising passage through
the Suez Canal rests with Egypt -- where mass protests forced
the resignation of longtime president Hosni Mubarak on
February 11.

"We have concerns about Iran`s behaviour in the
region," he said.

The Kharg, a supply ship, and the Alvand patrol
frigate were bound for Syria in what Tehran has described as a
routine visit.

In response, Israel put its navy on alert. Israel
considers Iran, which opposes the Jewish state and supports
Hezbollah and Hamas, a serious threat.

The Suez Canal Authority said last week that ships of
any nationality can pass through "as long as the country is
not in a state of war with Egypt."


First Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 15:27

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