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Lawmaker: Iran Seeks Peace, Tranquility in Mideast

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, Feb 28 (ICANA) – Member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) says the Iranian warships in the Mediterranean Sea carry a message of peace and friendship to the regional countries.
Monday, February 28, 2011 1:09:50 PM
Lawmaker: Iran Seeks Peace, Tranquility in Mideast

Speaking to ICANA, Mahdi Mahdizadeh also urged the friendly countries in the region to strongly stand against the regime occupying Qods, He said the presence of two Iranian warships in the Mediterranean was routine and they were no threat against any country. He said the warships had docked at Syrian port of Latakia to exchange experience with the army of a friendly country. “The move proves to the world Iran’s military capability.” The MP said the people of Palestine, Lebanon and Syria should rest assured that they have big supporters in the world and continue resistance against the Zionist regime of Israel strongly. Two Iranian warships, the first to enter the Mediterranean from the Suez Canal since 1979, docked at the Syrian port of Latakia last week. Israel has put its navy on high alert, denounced the ships' arrival in the region as an Iranian power play and branded their voyage "a provocation." Iran's main nemesis, the United States, has also said this week it is "watching carefully" the movements of the two ships. The two Iranian naval vessels have moored at Latakia on the Syrian coast. Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayari, commander of the Iranian navy said the mission to sail past Israel to Syria had been accomplished without regard for Israeli concerns. The Iranian navy commander, meanwhile said the Zionist regime may create concern for itself and look at this issue from its own view but we will carry out our plans regardless of this regime and in coordination with the friendly nation in the region. Sayari denied media reports that the ships, the first Iranian vessels to transit the Suez Canal since the 1979 Islamic revolution, will be involved in any military drills. "A number of Iranian navy cadets are present and they are on a long training voyage," he said. The 1,500-tonne Alvand is normally armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, while the larger 33,000-tonne Kharg has a crew of 250 and facilities for up to three helicopters. Neither ship is carrying chemical or nuclear material, Egypt's state-run MENA news agency has reported. Egypt's new military rulers, who took power from ousted President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11, appeared to have no choice but to allow the passage. An international convention regulating shipping says the canal must be open "to every vessel of commerce or of war." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the ships' arrival in the region as an Iranian power play, just days after his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, branded their voyage "a provocation." An Israeli security source told AFP Israel would "not initiate any action", but vowed an "immediate Israeli response" if the Iranians deviated from international law in any way that could be considered "a provocation". "We continue to monitor the movements of these ships and their actions," US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley has said. "We will be watching carefully to see where these ships go and the implications of that." The NATO military alliance too said it was monitoring the ships. Both ships were built in Britain during the 1970s for Iran, which ordered them before the Islamic revolution. Their passage into the eastern Mediterranean comes as the Arab world grapples with a vast wave of protests that is radically changing the political landscape, and leaving Israel increasingly concerned about its security.

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