Iran tester militærjuntaen i Egypt for å se om den tør si nei til gjennomfart gjennom Suez-kanalen. Selv sier egyptiske myndigheter at de ikke har lov til å nekte skip å passere.
The request by the Iranians to send the warships through Suez is a test of the foreign policy intentions of Egypt’s new military rulers, the gatekeepers of the canal. Mubarak, an ally of Israel and the U.S. who ruled for nearly 30 years, was toppled Feb. 11 by a popular uprising and the country is now run by a military council. Mubarak was considered a bulwark in the region against Islamic extremism.
«Iran wants to say to the world, to the U.S., Israel and other countries in the Mideast that it has reach not only in areas close to it but also farther away, including in the Mediterranean,» said Ephraim Kam of the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel.
He said Iran is also signaling to Israel that it is prepared to protect its allies Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon on Israel’s northern and southern flanks.
A senior Iranian naval commander told an Iranian news agency already several days before the Jan. 25 start of the revolt in Egypt that Iran planned to dispatch warships to the Mediterranean, via the Suez Canal. The commander said candidly at the time that the mission was to gather intelligence on the region and train Navy cadets to protect Iranian cargo ships and oil tankers against attacks by Somali pirates.