The Iranians Head for the Suez Canal

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Dore Gold - Iran wants to demonstrate that its naval power is not just confined to the Persian Gulf, but that its warships can reach as far as the Mediterranean Sea. According to a report by the Office of U.S. Naval Intelligence, the Iranian Navy is preparing itself to project its power beyond the Strait of Hormuz with new naval bases in the Gulf of Oman that will be ready in 2015. The dispatch of Iranian ships to the Suez Canal is a case of naval diplomacy. Up until this month, Egypt led the Sunni Arab countries, like Saudi Arabia and Jordan, which have been seeking to contain the spread of Iranian power. However, with Egypt neutralized for now, the Iranians want to send a signal that they are prepared to fill the vacuum created by the fall of President Mubarak by dispatching warships through the Suez Canal for the first time. The Iranian naval move is a simple signal: wherever the U.S. withdraws from, Iran will be there to enter. Should Iran cross the nuclear weapons threshold, this kind of assertiveness will only increase.

2011-02-18 00:00:00

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