Iranian warships enter Mediterranean headed for Syria, Israel calls it a “provocation”
By End the Lie
After crossing through the Suez Canal, Iranian naval vessels have entered the Mediterranean Sea, in a move which Iran’s naval commander said was intended to show the nation’s “might” to countries in the region.
In reaction to the news, the Israeli foreign ministry called the deployment a “provocation” and condemned it as a “power play,” adding that they would be monitoring the movements in order to make sure it would not approach their coast.
Israel condemning Iran for acts of provocation is painfully ironic given their history of supporting acts of terrorism in Iran and taking out Iranian nuclear scientists whenever possible.
According to the Iranian official news agency, IRNA, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said, “The strategic navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has passed through the Suez Canal for the second time since the Islamic Revolution [in 1979].”
While saying that the Iranian naval flotilla had previously docked in the port city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Sayyari would not say exactly how many warships passed through the canal or what missions they were slated to conduct in the region.
According to Iranian media and Qatari propaganda house al Jazeera, the Iranian destroyer Shahid Qandi and her supply vessel Kharg docked in the Red sea port back on February 4.
Sayyari relayed that the move was intended to carry a dual meaning, both a “message of peace” but also a seemingly contradictory display of the Iranian military’s “might.”
“It will prove to the world that despite increasing enemy sanctions over the past 33 years, our manpower, obedient to the orders of the leader Imam Khamenei, continue to add to their academic and military abilities,” Sayyari said.
This has been a repeated theme since the latest rounds of more harsh sanctions were put in place. Figures in Iran are making a regular effort to portray Iran has successful in the face of sanctions, especially those at the upper levels.
Then again, these high-level government officials are not the people who would be truly impacted by sanctions anyways, since we have seen that sanctions ultimately hurt the average people at the bottom of the totem pole who have no way to circumvent the sanctions as upper-level officials do.
Iran’s first deployment to the Mediterranean a year ago, in February 2011, also brought some heated reactions from the usual suspects, Israel and the United States.
During last year’s excursion, two Iranian warships (a destroyer and an accompanying supply vessel), sailed past the coast of Israel, after which they docked at Latakia in Syria. The two ships then traveled back to Iran via the Red Sea without incident.
Interestingly, yesterday the British foreign minister William Hague, said that a military strike on Iran could carry significant costs, adding “We are very clear to all concerned that we are not advocating military action.”
This is somewhat doubtful given the presence of a top-of-the-line British warship in the region and the warmongering history of the British, especially in recent years, most recently with Libya.
While Hague claimed that Iran’s alleged drive for atomic weapons (which has been debunked numerous times by no less than the United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta himself) has the possibility of leading to a nuclear standoff in the Middle East, he said that allowing more time for growing diplomatic and economic pressure to set in is favorable.
Just last week Israeli officials – including Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – implicated Iran in bombings in India, Georgia and Thailand. As I outlined at the time, these bombings showed no indication of being tied to Iran, instead showing all of the hallmarks of an Israeli intelligence operation.
The attacks followed the same blueprint as the murders of the Iranian nuclear scientists within Iran, although these all had a significant difference: the targets were relatively inconsequential and no one was actually killed.
As I pointed out at the time, if these were actually terrorist attacks officially backed and funded by Iran, why would they choose such incredibly low level targets like the wife of an Israeli diplomat and a Georgian national who drove for the Israeli embassy?
Furthermore, the fact that no Israelis were actually killed in any of the attacks makes it quite doubtful that Iran was behind it.
After all, we’re supposed to think of Iran as some huge threat to the United States and the West as a whole with brigades of deadly terrorists at their command, yet if these attacks were actually carried out by Iran it would mean that their supposedly massive networks of terrorist proxies are actually laughably incompetent and far from the looming threats they’d like to make them out to be.
Of course Iran denied any and all involvement in the attacks, instead pointing to the obvious links it has to the previous operations in Iran which have been linked to Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, even by some of the most unlikely entities like mainstream media outlets in the United States.
The timing of this move from Iran couldn’t be worse as it comes soon after Iran cut off oil exports to the United Kingdom and France.
This move is not going to make either country happy and could very well serve to continue to raise the already incredibly tense situation in the region, although I doubt it would be the final straw leading to an all-out attack.
As I said in the case of the recent attacks, I believe it will take something more concrete – like an overt act of aggression from Iran – to give the justification for a Western attack.
This is because it is obvious that the West has lost a great deal of legitimacy in the eyes of the international community and thus they seek to hold on to whatever scrap of legitimacy they have left.
Just days ago, a letter from Iran to Western nations offered a resumption of the talks over their nuclear program – which the West consistently claims has military goals even though there is no proof of this to be found.
Unsurprisingly, they claimed that they were still determining Iran’s sincerity, when in reality the West has absolutely no interest in resuming talks and working towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The repeated Iranian attempts at beginning the talks once again – and the consistent Western torpedoing of these efforts – serve as evidence of the lack of interest in a diplomatic solution.
It remains to be seen if Israel will jump on this relatively small-scale movement as justification for an attack, although I do not think that they will because it is quite obvious to the impartial logical observer that a single Iranian destroyer is no threat to the state of Israel and its massive military built on the backs of the American taxpayer.