Iranian Warships Enter Suez Canal As Hague Warns Of 'Cold War'

Iran Suez Canal

First Posted: 18/02/2012 14:21 Updated: 18/02/2012 14:22

Iranian warships have entered the Suez canal, via the Mediterranean sea, for the second time since the revolution of 1979.

The Shahid Qandi, a destroyer, and its supply vessel Kharg passed through the Suez canal this morning, although it is not clear what their destination will be. However it is likely to cause tension with Israel, who described a similar expedition by Iran a year ago as "provocation."

However, Iranian Navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayari told news agency Irna that the mission was a "show of might" and a "message of peace."

The ships reportedly docked at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia earlier. The vessels may be on their way to Syria, according to a Suez canal authority source, reports Reuters.

The warships mission comes as concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions were raised by Foreign Secretary William Hague. He warned that the state's nuclear plans could plunge the world into "a new Cold War" with the Middle East.

The Foreign Secretary predicted a nuclear arms race among rival Middle Eastern states that would carry the dangers without the safety mechanisms of the old rivalry between the West and the USSR.

Israel is rumoured to be planning military strikes within months. Ahmadinejad claimed this week that Iran had loaded its first domestically-made fuel rod into a nuclear reactor.

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Filed by Felicity A Morse  |