Egypt: Iran warships won’t pass through Suez Canal

posted at 9:30 am on February 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

This BBC report is good news for Israel at the moment, but it’s not entirely a confidence builder.  After Israel publicly objected to an Iranian plan to send warships into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, Egypt announced that those plans had been, er, canceled:

Plans by two Iranian warships to pass through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean have been cancelled, says an Egyptian official.

The unnamed official was reported as saying the plans had been withdrawn, without giving a reason.

He said the ships were near the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah.

Israel had reacted angrily to the plans, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warning that it could not “forever ignore these provocations”.

According to CNN’s source, the Iranians weren’t planning on traversing the Suez Canal anyway:

Iran has not requested to move any of its warships through the Suez Canal, an Egyptian official said Thursday.

“No Iranian warships sailed through the canal in the last two days and nothing is planned for the coming days either,” said Ahmed El-Manakhly, the transit director of the Suez Canal Authority.

“In order for any warship to cross the canal, their government needs to send a request to the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through their embassy in Cairo for approval and once approved, the warships can cross the canal. but for now, no official request has been submitted,” he said.

The development came a day after Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said two Iranian warships were expected to pass through the Suez Canal Wednesday night on their way to Syria.

The issue has particular ramifications for Egypt and Israel.  Israel withdrew from the Sinai almost thirty years ago, leaving Egypt in total control of the Suez Canal for the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  If Egypt starts to allow Iranian warships to sail towards Israel’s western shore unimpeded, the Sinai could be a flashpoint for both countries.

For now, it’s good news that Egypt has either stopped Iran from sailing warships through the Suez, or perhaps convinced them to change their minds.  It bears close watch, especially as a gauge of intentions from the Egyptian military.


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It’s Official: Iran Says It Will Send 2 Warships Through Suez Canal

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/its-official-iran-says-it-will-send-2-warships-through-suez-canal

Here We Go: Iran Will Send Warships Through The Suez, And Oil Is Jumping

http://www.businessinsider.com/here-we-go-iran-will-send-warships-through-the-suez-and-oil-is-jumping-2011-2#ixzz1EE8Gpzo3

Viator on February 17, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Hey, Ahmanutjob: Go around. Watch for that right turn at the Horn of Africa.

iurockhead on February 17, 2011 at 9:37 AM

The Egyptian military has been in control for a long time. While there may be sentiment amongst some of the public for a war with Israel, the military doesn’t want another war, and another defeat.

rbj on February 17, 2011 at 9:37 AM

One question:

Why the conflicting (and duplicative) stories one on the main page, the other in the Headlines section? And if its because when a headliner gets enough attention, it gets main page worthiness, why can’t the comments traverse with the story to the main page?

Ok, it was two questions.

44Magnum on February 17, 2011 at 9:41 AM

If Egypt were to lose the Sinai again, they might never get it back! Nice scare tactic from the Iranians who are trying desperately to coax that 12th Imam out of the well.

cartooner on February 17, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Do you think the Iranians became afraid of what Obama might do if they sailed?

docflash on February 17, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Do you think the Iranians became afraid of what Obama might do if they sailed?

docflash on February 17, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Do you think my skittle-pooping unicorn I was promised is in the mail, headed this way?

iurockhead on February 17, 2011 at 9:49 AM

OT: Anyone else having trouble commenting lately? I have to login over and over again, often after having simply refreshed a post. I hit “Submit Comment” and am logged out and my comment disappears. Sometimes it takes what seems like forever for the comment box to appear, if it appears at all.

flyfisher on February 17, 2011 at 9:51 AM

flyfisher on February 17, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I had to log in this morning, but no probs posting since logging in.

44Magnum on February 17, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Might be a good idea to have someone on the canal, running a geiger counter over the tanker.

OldEnglish on February 17, 2011 at 9:55 AM

OT: Anyone else having trouble commenting lately? I have to login over and over again, often after having simply refreshed a post. I hit “Submit Comment” and am logged out and my comment disappears. Sometimes it takes what seems like forever for the comment box to appear, if it appears at all.

flyfisher on February 17, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Nope. Someone has put a voodoo curse on your computer.
Send 2,000 to my paypal account. I’ll sacrfice that rooster next door.

katy the mean old lady on February 17, 2011 at 9:58 AM

flyfisher on February 17, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I had a comment on the Richard Cohen/Lara Logan item in the headlines that seems to have gotten eaten, even though when I reposted it WP said duplicate comment.

rbj on February 17, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Does anyone know the following:
1) who built these warships?
2) how old are they?
3) what type of armaments do they have?

SC.Charlie on February 17, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Nope. Someone has put a voodoo curse on your computer. Send 2,000 to my paypal account. I’ll sacrfice that rooster next door. – katy the mean old lady on February 17, 2011 at 9:58 AM

I got hit yesterday with a virus. It took a computer expert in Manila four hours to get all straightened-out? I updated my virus protection this morning and darned if it did not find another virus. I am going to do the same thing today about mid-day.

SC.Charlie on February 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM

The new strong horse has yet to leave the stable.

abobo on February 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM

rbj on February 17, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Check back, sometimes I have to leave the thread and go back to see some of my comments.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM

SC.Charlie on February 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM

You have my sympathy. Neither of my sons activated the firewall supplied by our cable internet provider and both lost their lap tops. We are switching to Macs on our next updates.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 10:07 AM

SC.Charlie on February 17, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Check the first link from Viator (first post).

OldEnglish on February 17, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Ed

You might want to add an update to this. According to both zerohedge and the JPOST, Iran is denying that they withdrew permission to cross, and will go ahead as planned.

Indy82 on February 17, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Can someone turn off the autoplay high volume advertisements? I’m no marketing guru, but you have to be driving away viewers by the hundreds.

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Check back, sometimes I have to leave the thread and go back to see some of my comments.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Yup, it’s there now. Something weird is going on with WordPress. But I repeat myself. Or maybe it’s Stuxnet.

rbj on February 17, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Indy82 on February 17, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Yeah, as well as IBD. Here’s the JPost bit:

Iran plans to cross the Suez Canal, despite reports to the contrary, Press TV reported on Thursday.

The Iranian news station also said that “Egyptian authorities believed there was nothing wrong with the passage.”

Weight of Glory on February 17, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Alvand class frigate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvand_class_frigate

“The US Navy has seen this class of ship before, in battle. During Operation Preying Mantis in 1988, the Iranian corvette Sabalan was left paralyzed and on fire from a 500 lb bomb from an A-6, while another pair of A-6s crippled the Sahand where she later sunk southwest of Larak Island following a Harpoon strike from the USS Joseph Strauss (DDG-16).”

Viator on February 17, 2011 at 10:36 AM

I got hit yesterday with a virus. It took a computer expert in Manila four hours to get all straightened-out? I updated my virus protection this morning and darned if it did not find another virus. I am going to do the same thing today about mid-day.

SC.Charlie on February 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM

See if you can download aprogram called malwarebytes.My laptop was riddled with worms.This brought it back from the dead.

katy the mean old lady on February 17, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Check the first link from Viator (first post). – OldEnglish on February 17, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Thanks. Too bad that these ships can’t just suddenly disappear through an act of Allah.

SC.Charlie on February 17, 2011 at 10:42 AM

See if you can download aprogram called malwarebytes.My laptop was riddled with worms.This brought it back from the dead. – katy the mean old lady on February 17, 2011 at 10:39 AM

The AVG expert used that program and several other tools to work on my computer.

SC.Charlie on February 17, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Iran plans to cross the Suez Canal, despite reports to the contrary, Press TV reported on Thursday.

The Iranian news station also said that “Egyptian authorities believed there was nothing wrong with the passage.”

Iran’s news agency has been calling the United States the Great Satan for over 30 years. Do they have a reputation for telling the truth?

Still, it might be a good idea for Israel to send air surveillance near the north end of the Suez Canal (outside of Egypt’s airspace), just to see who might be passing through.

If an Iranian warship entered the Mediterranean, it could attack not only Israel, but also Italy, France, and Spain.
The latter three countries are NATO allies of the United States, and need to be protected.

Steve Z on February 17, 2011 at 10:48 AM

If we had an actual spine in the WH, the 6th would conducts “exercises in the Med about now.

PJ Emeritus on February 17, 2011 at 11:07 AM

If we had an actual spine in the WH, the 6th would conducts “exercises in the Med about now.

PJ Emeritus on February 17, 2011 at 11:07 AM

I believe I saw a report yesterday that a carrier task force passed through.

maintenanceman on February 17, 2011 at 11:13 AM

here it is

maintenanceman on February 17, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Perhaps the sixth fleet should give it an escort to Syria and use every intelligence tool to find out what is on the second vessel.

SC.Charlie on February 17, 2011 at 11:18 AM

You have my sympathy. Neither of my sons activated the firewall supplied by our cable internet provider and both lost their lap tops. We are switching to Macs on our next updates.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 10:07 AM

“losing your laptops” has nothing to do with a cable firewall, Mac or PC… its the user habits.

And very few virus’ disable a computer fully.

I will bet $10,000 I would find all kinds of interesting things your sons “viewed” cache…

Even funnier – they get new shiny Mac’s , due to mommys ignorance.

Odie1941 on February 17, 2011 at 11:41 AM

I was a little surprised to see a comment in the BBC article to the effect that the Egyptians could stop the Iranian ships from going through the canal. If I remember rightly, it is open to all traffic by international treaty, even belligerents.

I can understand that the Egyptian military could require a review of military ships for technical and safety reasons in the safe operation of the canal, but I wouldn’t think they deny transit.

Dusty on February 17, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Do you think the Iranians became afraid of what Obama might do if they sailed?

docflash on February 17, 2011 at 9:47 AM

I laughed out loud when I read that.

Well done, Doc.

G M on February 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM

From the Jerusalem Post

Egypt reportedly losing control of Sinai to Beduin

According to information that has arrived in Israel, Egyptian police authorities have abandoned dozens of police stations throughout the peninsula after they were attacked by Beduin armed with missiles and assault rifles.

The Egyptian military has for years encountered difficulty in controlling the Beduin population, which does not hold allegiance to the Egyptian government in Cairo.

“The Sinai is already known as a lawless land,” a senior defense official said over the weekend. “There is real concern that if the Egyptians don’t get the Sinai back under their control, it could develop into a major threat to Israel.”

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=207963

sharrukin on February 17, 2011 at 3:33 PM