Egypt confirms that Iran has asked permission to pass two warships through the Suez Canal on...

Egypt confirms that Iran has asked permission to pass two warships through the Suez Canal on their way to Syria. International law precludes Egypt from stopping any vessel unless they are at war with the ship's country, according to the Suez Canal transit authority.

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  • Tony Petroski
    , contributor
    Comments (6356) | Send Message
    Where are the Somali pirates when we need them?
    18 Feb 2011, 09:19 AM Reply Like
  • bob adamson
    , contributor
    Comments (4560) | Send Message
    From the Iranian perspective the current unrest domestically and throughout the region present great risks to itself and its 30 year old Shi’a fundamentalist revolutionary theocracy but also great opportunities that the swath of Shi’a majority pockets running from southern Iraq through the Gulf States and into eastern Saudi Arabia might over through their Sunni Islamic ruling elites and fall under the influence of Iran. To minimize the risks to itself and maximize the opportunities for what it sees as potential gain it is therefore in Iran’s interests to keep the risks throughout Syria, Lebanon and northern Iraq quiet for now as it does not want disputes with Turkey or Israel or uprisings of the large Kurdish population in Iraq, Turkey and Iran itself to deflect its focus on quelling its own domestic urban unrest and exploiting unrest in the Arabian Shi’a populations just described.


    Iran is therefore actively trying to improve relations with its traditional rival Turkey (and having success as Turkey distances itself somewhat from its traditional role of US ally and quiet cooperation with Israel). Here are reports from the Turkish media describing high level discussions held this week between Iran and Turkey:




    Together Iran and Turkey are taking steps to stabilize Syria and Lebanon (on terms they view as conducive to their own ends) and the visit of the two Iranian warships is arguably designed as part of these diplomatic efforts by Iran. The fact that these warship movements might also bother the shaken Egyptian and Saudi regimes (both the major Sunni Islamic Arab rivals of Iran in the Middle East) would also be viewed by Iran as a plus in the great chess game under way.
    18 Feb 2011, 10:47 AM Reply Like
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