LONDON (JTA) — Israel’s recent deployment of warships through the Suez Canal is “a clear signal that Israel was able to put its strike force within range of Iran at short notice,” a British newspaper reported.
Two Israeli missile class warships on Tuesday sailed through the Suez Canal 10 days after an Israeli submarine capable of launching a nuclear missile strike in preparation for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times reported Thursday.
The newspaper reported that Israeli officials confirmed the deployment.
The Times article pointed out that Israel has strengthened ties with Arab nations that also fear a nuclear-armed Iran. In particular, relations with Egypt have grown increasingly strong this year over the “shared mutual distrust of Iran,” according to an Israeli diplomat quoted in the report. Israeli naval vessels would likely pass through the Suez Canal for a strike against Iran.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told the Times that his government explicitly allowed passage of Israeli vessels, and an Israeli admiral said the drills were “run regularly with the full cooperation of the Egyptians.”
“This is preparation that should be taken seriously," an Israeli defense official said. "Israel is investing time in preparing itself for the complexity of an attack on Iran. These maneuvers are a message to Iran that Israel will follow up on its threats.”