Press TV – Feb 23, 2011 – A senior Iranian army commander says Israel has been outraged by the passage of two Iranian warships through the Suez Canal for the first time since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in the country.
“The Zionist regime (Israel) was shocked by the presence of Iran’s naval ships in the Suez Canal and this is the reason that the regime has made propaganda in this regard over recent days,” Iran’s Deputy Army Commander Brigadier General Abdul-Rahim Mousavi told IRNA on Tuesday.
“The global arrogance should know that Iran’s Army is fully ready to defend the ideals of the Islamic Republic,” he added.
The Iranian commander also noted that after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, many countries believed that Iran’s Army would stop activities after a few months but all plots by arrogant powers have been foiled.
“Today, Iran’s Army is among the strongest armies in the region and the world,” he emphasized.
General Mousavi further pointed out that Iran has constantly made efforts to increase its military capabilities as it always predicted the ongoing events in the region and the globe.
The remarks came on the same day that two Iranian vessels, Khark and Alvand, crossed the Suez Canal, a strategic international shipping route in Egypt, and were heading towards the Mediterranean Sea.
The 1,500-ton patrol frigate Alvand is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, while the larger 33,000-ton supply vessel Khark has 250 crewmembers and can carry three helicopters.
Iran’s Navy has announced that dispatching Iranian warships to the Mediterranean is aimed at strengthening friendly relations with other countries and conveying Iran’s message of peace and security in international waterways.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday expressed concerns over the passage of the two Iranian ships through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean.
“Israel views with gravity this Iranian initiative and other developments that reinforce what we have said in past years about Israel’s security needs,” he claimed in a statement released by his office.
“Today we are witnessing the instability of the region in which we live and in which Iran is trying to profit by extending its influence by dispatching two warships to cross the Suez Canal,” added the premier.