Egypt has agreed to allow two Islamic Republic warships to transit through the Suez Canal.
According to the Middle East News Agency, it has been confirmed that the two warships are not carrying nuclear or chemical weapons.
Yesterday Egyptian foreign and defence ministries had announced they were reviewing Iran’s request to access the canal.
This is the fist time since the the Islamic Republic was established that Iranian naval ships have been allowed to use the Suez Canal. Hosni Mubarak’s government had always refused Iran’s requests.
The passage of Iranian warships comes as populist anti-government uprisings spread through the region, and the U.S. has announced it is closely monitoring the progress of the ships, which are supposed to cross the canal at 6 AM, according to Iranian media.
The convoy includes the Alvand, a frigate, and the Kharq, a supply ship, which have both passed routine checks to ensure there is nothing illegal aboard.
Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman referred to the intended passage of Iranian ships through Suez as an act of “provocation,” and the Israeli defence ministry announced it was closely monitoring the two vessels.
Al-Arabiah reports that Egyptian analysts have evaluated the Iranian request for passage through the Suez Canal to reach Syria as an attempt to “put Egypt’s Military Council in a bind.” The Council is temporarily in charge of running the country following the removal of Mubarak and his government.
Egyptian journalist Faraj Ismail told Al-Arabiah that if the Islamic Republic government truly supported the popular uprising of the Egyptian people, it would not have approved the request.