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Israeli sub crosses Suez Canal

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Israeli sub crosses Suez Canal

Postby U-5075 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:28 pm ... 365144.htm

Officials: Israeli sub crosses Suez Canal

JERUSALEM (AP) - An Israeli submarine has sailed through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea in a trip that Israeli media are interpreting as a warning signal to Iran.
An Israeli defense official said Saturday the Dolphin-class submarine made the passage last month from a Mediterranean navel base to take part in maneuvers off the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat.
He did not give further details.
Israel does not publish details of the type of armaments it possesses but some foreign media reports say Dolphin-class subs can fire nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.
Israel is widely assumed to have a nuclear arsenal but has a standing policy of neither confirming nor denying its nuclear capability. It is believed, however, to have the world's sixth-largest stockpile of nuclear arms.
The Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli officials as saying that last month's voyage through the canal was done overtly, with the vessel on the surface.
«It could be interpreted as a message to Iran and a demonstration of strengthening ties between Egypt and Israel,» it said.
Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab countries to sign a peace treaty with Israel.
YNet, the Web service of the Yediot Ahronot daily, quoted a defense official describing the voyage as «a show of strategic reach in the face of Iran.

The Jerusalem Post said naval trips through the canal resumed recently after being suspended in 2005 due to fear of attack en route by Islamic radicals.
Sailing through the Suez Canal, an Israeli submarine could reach the Persian Gulf off Iran in days, rather than the weeks it would take to sail around the southern tip of Africa.
Iran is under three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions for refusing to freeze its uranium enrichment program _ an activity that Tehran insists is meant to generate nuclear fuel but which can also be used to produce fissile material for nuclear warheads.
Iran's nuclear program is particularly worrying for Israel because of Tehran's belligerent stance toward the Jewish state. Egypt also has tense relations with Iran which it believes is trying to spread its radical brand of militant Islam through the region.
Egypt's relations with Iran worsened after Egyptian officials arrested members of the Lebanese Shiite guerrilla group Hezbollah in Egypt, accusing them of operating in its territory. Hezbollah is bankrolled by Iran, and Egypt accuses it of being a proxy to obtain Mideast regional influence.
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