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Iranian Warships Sailed Into the Mediterranean (Second Coming Watch Update #17)

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Iranian warships have sailed into the Mediterranean. According to CNN, Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Saturday that two Iranian warships sailed through Egypt's Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea amid heightened tensions in the region. The move represents only the second time such ships have crossed the Suez Canal since the Islamic republic's 1979 revolution. The first time took place in February 2011, just days after Egypt's post-Hosni Mubarak government gave the green light to the passage -- putting Egypt's new military leaders in a prickly position with its Israeli neighbor. It is reported that the two vessels, a destroyer and a supply ship, went to Syria.

Hamas is basing surface-to-air missiles in Sinai for attacks on Israel. According to World News Tribune, Islamic insurgents have deployed surface-to-air missiles in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula for attacks on Israel The Washington Institute for Near East Policy said Hamas has joined with Bedouin insurgents to establish Sinai as a venue for SAM attacks on Israeli civilian and military aircraft. In a report, the institute said the insurgency network was believed to have acquired a range of Russian-origin air defense systems.

Israel seeks tighter sanctions against Iran. According to the AFP, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak called on the world to tighten sanctions on Iran before the country enters a "zone of immunity" against a physical attack to stop its nuclear programme. He told a news conference in Tokyo, "We have to accelerate the pace of imposing sanctions. The world should ratchet up the sanctions before the Iranians fully enter this immunity zone." Barak has often used the phrase "zone of immunity" to mean a point where Tehran's nuclear programme becomes invulnerable to physical attack.

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iran
warships
mediterranean
israel
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