Thu, March 03, 2011
World > Middle East

Two Iranian warships cross Suez Canal

2011-03-03 11:56:02 GMT2011-03-03 19:56:02(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

SINAI, Egypt, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Two Iranian warships arrived at Egypt's Port Said Thursday enroute to Iran, a Suez Canal official source told Xinhua.

The two ships, 1,500-ton patrol frigate Alvand and 33,000-ton support ship Khark, crossed the Suez Canal on Feb. 22 heading to the Syrian port through Mediterranean Sea.

Egypt approved the two warships' requests to go through the Suez Canal Feb. 18, a day after it rejected their passage, the official said, adding that the Suez Canal authority had taken all the precautions needed to ensure that the ships pass safely.

Alvand is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, while Khark has 250 crew members and can carry three helicopters.

Iranian English language satellite Press TV said it is the first time since the victory of Islamic Revolution in 1979 for Iranian warships to pass the Suez Canal, a strategic international shipping route.

While Israel said it takes a "grave view" of the warships' passage and described Iran's plans to send the ships through the canal to Syria as "provocative."

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