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Contrary To Reports, Iranian Ships Have Not Passed Into Mediterranean... Yet

Tyler Durden's picture


Refuting reports that the two Iranian warships had passed the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, Suez Canal officials said that the ships are not to sail through until... tomorrow (when international FX markets are open at half volume mast). Previous reports on Iran's Arabic language state
television channel Al Alam TV reported that the ships had passed through
the Suez Canal (as, of course, had Debka). Although in reality a 24 hour difference will likely not matter much. The key aspect is that Egypt has indicated that it will not bend to international pressure when it comes to "canal neutrality" rules - something that will likely not inspire confidence in Egypt. As for the warships, we doubt anyone will to take a real defensive posture - after all as we pointed out previously both of these are over 30 years old, and any escalation would be purely symbolic to further mobilize middle eastern forces, based on "provocation" rhetoric. Look for some fireworks in FX trading overnight and tomorrow when already subdued volumes exagerate the impact of any potentially troubling news headline.

Two Iranian naval ships are due to sail through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean on Monday, Suez Canal officials said, denying a report from Iran that said the ships had already gone through the waterway.

The vessels, the first Iranian naval ships to sail through the canal since 1979, are due to arrive at the southern entrance to the canal in the Gulf of Suez later on Sunday, the officials said.

Earlier on Sunday, Iran's Arabic language state television channel Al Alam TV reported that the ships had passed through the Suez Canal.

The military, which has been running Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled on February 11, approved Iran's request to send the ships through the canal, an Egyptian army source said on Friday.

Lastly, it will be interesting to see how the US responds to this development. The next naval update will come on Wednesday. In the meantime, here is how the naval positioning was as of last week. Note the Red Sea blockade at both ends courtesy of the Enterprise and Kearsarge.


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Sun, 02/20/2011 - 13:25 | 979623 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

It means nothing, we are talking about two ships, hardly an aggressive maneuver.  American naval forces in the area (as well as land based air forces) make the two ships irrelevant.  Symbolic it is, importance in the Great Game is none at all.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:04 | 979686 Rick64
Rick64's picture

Have to agree. I mean what are they going to do with two ships ? Conquer the world or maybe on their way to attacking the U.S.. This is bordering on ridiculous, but it definitely has the danger of becoming a false flag operation where Iran would be targeted.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:16 | 979710 Michael
Michael's picture

FOX News is still demonizing the event. I say we should have a parade to welcoming the passage. What do they expect,  Iranian trade to Syria should be made to go around the Horn of Africa to get to Syria? Give me a break. What is our precious Israel afraid of, an invasion? Israel has 300+ nukes as exposed by President Jimmy Carter. In the event Israel was about to be destroyed, they would shove a couple dozen nukes up the ass of the invading country. And what about the Israeli subs armed with nukes trolling off the coast of Iran? I love the MAD deterrent.

Here is something they are not showing you on the zionist controlled media;

Libyan Slaughterhouse Thanks British Petroleum and Muammar Gaddafi

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:14 | 979818 Bearster
Bearster's picture

There ya go, exposed for all to see.  This has nothing to do with the "rights" of Iran to  attack Israel.

This is about the desire of the Jew-haters to see Achmadinejad fulfill his promise to wipe them off the map in a nuclear holocaust.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:37 | 979868 Michael
Michael's picture

So why didn't the US and the USSR wipe each other out in the Cold War with each side possessing thousands of nukes?

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:41 | 979878 malikai
malikai's picture

+1 MAD

Israel got nukes, cool for them. Iran got nukes, now you can only talk.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:19 | 979831 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

What if, the Iranians are trying to push oil pricing even  higher?

Or playing the PM options markets? (Expiration on Wednesday)

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:25 | 979846 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Better yet, what if JPM asks the Iranians to retreat (at least for a while) so that he can piggyback on lessened fears and supress PM's until Wednesday options expiration's?

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 19:14 | 980305 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

"It means nothing". Concur. 


On Friday in related news, the US once again vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to condemn Israel's continued settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The draft was barely a slap on the wrist for the illegal theft of Palestinian lands - it was hardly going to lead anywhere, and was supported by 14 out of 15 Security council members, yet once again the USA is the ONLY nation in the world which has scuppered any chance of justice, or recognition for the Palestinians who have suffered the longest military occupation in modern history. Unbelievable. 

This may be another case in a long line of cases where any international support for the beleagured people of Palestine have been cruelly "yanked" out of their reach, so one must ask oneself, "WTF are they supposed to do? Fuck off into the desert and die like the rest of their people in refugee camps?"  

There was a Dispatches program on C4 (UK) called, "War Child: Children of Gaza", where kids barely old able to talk were relating the events of Israel's "Operation Cast Lead", on 27 December 2008. A must-see for anyone still crazy enough to support the military occupation of the West Bank.

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 00:14 | 980750 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

TC, yep, but a)agent provocateur, b) security for another "freedom flotilla", and most importantly c) just hang around and pretend to cause bother and discontent.

- Ned

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 13:28 | 979628 Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson's picture

Oh boy. Here we go.

What are the chances that there is any truth to the debka story that one of the vessels is carrying missiles destined for Hezbollah? IF the Israelis believe this, look out...

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 13:31 | 979632 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

 Israel has learned that the Iranian cruiser Kharg is carrying long-range missiles for Hizballah which it plans to unload at a Syrian port or Beirut harbor.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:34 | 979746 Michael
Michael's picture

Israeli Propaganda. Notice the demonizing language.

"Cairo and Tehran connived to slip the two Iranian warships through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sunday, Feb. 20, after a series of fake delaying tactics agreed between them to cover the flotilla's movements. Egypt's military rulers approved the passage of Iranian flotilla through the Suez Canal without inspecting their freights for banned cargo, taking advantage of the sandstorm over the region which obscured them from spy satellites and helped them to give monitors the slip."

DEBKAfile is a Jerusalem-based English language Israeli open source military intelligence website with commentary and analyses on terrorism, intelligence, security, and military and political affairs in the Middle East. The word "Debka" refers to an Arab folk dance.(sic)

The site started in the summer of 2000, and is operated from the Jerusalem home of veteran journalists Giora Shamis and Diane Shalem. It has been awarded Forbes' Best of the Web award. Forbes identifies the best part of the website as being its archives, but decries the fact that "most of the information is attributed to unidentified sources."

Hezbollah (Arabic: literally "Party of God") I don't see anything wrong with the name of this group.



Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:08 | 979793 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Debka has as much credibility as the National Enquirer. An obvious, obvious inside set-up.

Like facebook and Google and...... and the US Congress, the entire federal structure "ruling" from DC (a state with a state) and the artfully concealed application of maritime law, th ePRIVATELY OWNED (Un)Federal (no) Reserve....

Ah, but who's talking about stuff that really matters anymore, eh?

We fear asking the deepest questions and dis-tract our-selves with our sense of inquiry on trivialities. True in every aspect of our lives.




Sun, 02/20/2011 - 13:34 | 979640 HamyWanger
HamyWanger's picture

Since when a country doesn't have the right to make ships circulate around the world freely?


Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:16 | 979820 Bearster
Bearster's picture

When they repeatedly threaten to wipe countries off the map in nuclear holocausts.

Any other dumb questions?


P.S.  What they hell do you believe you mean by the word "rights"?  Some sort of procedural proclamation issued by the UN?

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:35 | 979864 TheGreatPonzi
TheGreatPonzi's picture

"When they repeatedly threaten to wipe countries off the map in nuclear holocausts."

It only happened in the wet dreams of neocons.

Actually, Mr. Ahmadinedjad did not say such a thing. 

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 18:52 | 980269 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Iran has never threatened to 'wipe countries off the map', with or without nuclear holocausts. Look it up, it's a myth.

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 00:16 | 980754 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Yep, always b trustin' Wiki as the primary source.  Uh Huh- Ned

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 13:44 | 979652 Dan The Man
Dan The Man's picture


I dispute the reality of Suez canal neutrality.  Egypt will ultimately have more integrity not less, if they keep the canal open to all.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 13:49 | 979657 Bearster
Bearster's picture

As if the only reason not to allow the ships is the floating abstraction labelled "international pressure."


Sun, 02/20/2011 - 13:50 | 979658 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Pretty hard to blame someone for flexing their muscles, when we've been flexing them for one hundred years. It's all prick jousting...until someone ejaculates.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 13:58 | 979664 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

No comment on video. Interesting thow. Almost positive that I saw this on US MSM news outlets

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 13:54 | 979665 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Cyril Figgis: OK, so human intelligence entails what exactly?
Sterling Archer: Well there's false flags, dead drops, drop outs, cut outs, active doubles, passive doubles, dangled moles. The often under appreciated honeypot. One of my favorites.
Cyril Figgis: Wow, sounds like a lot to cover.
Sterling Archer: Yeah, so we may have to gloss over... almost all of it.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:27 | 979814 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Awesome Gully. Where is it from?

Got it, and thought the end of this quote is hilarious...

Overall the show had generally favorable reviews on Metacritic with an average score of 78.[18] Entertainment Weekly called it a wittily raunchy spy spoof,[19] and the Miami Herald referred to it as "a millennial (and very much R-rated) Get Smart that acerbically and hilariously plays on our post-9/11 fears that 'U.S. government intelligence' might be a grim oxymoron.


Sun, 02/20/2011 - 17:09 | 980021 PenGun
PenGun's picture

 Archer is a very fine cartoon from FX productions.


Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:04 | 979688 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

maybe isreal should invade the saini and sink any boats it dont like the look of.

sure that'll help calm things down over there

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:12 | 979701 Weimar Ben Bernanke
Weimar Ben Bernanke's picture

 Israel is not going do anything. Why would they risk war with Iran now?

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 17:59 | 980137 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

they'll cry and cry for someone to fight their warmongering ways.  Let them attack. Our taxpayers already bought them the best military they can buy.


Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:26 | 979728 nathandegraaf
nathandegraaf's picture

Not for nothing but they have started wars with much less.  Gulf of Tonkin was two rifle shots, one confirmed. 

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:31 | 979739 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

That naval graphic is 11 days old unless that link is a misprint or a typo. (02/09 dated)

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:46 | 979767 gnomon
gnomon's picture

Israel can not allow the unrestricted delivery of missiles (and other weaponry) to Hezbollah through this very efficient means.  A catastrophic build-up of forces on Israel's northern border would be a fait accompli. 

There could be war next week, if Israel decides to stop and inspect these ships.  And as Israel is in an undeclared war with Hezbollah, they have every right to inspect those Iranian ships.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 17:48 | 980105 squexx
squexx's picture

Israel has got the right to do SHIT! As usual, that "shitty little country" lies, screams and plays "holohoax card." How the hell are 2 small ships with 50 year old technology going to start a war? Israel has no right to decide who goes anywhere, if they do, Israel should have a total embargo, since they export more terror in the ME than anybody else.

Israel IS NOT an ally of the USA and has never been. How can you call a parasite your friend? The USA needs to cut off all aid to the Satanic Tribe and let them go it alone. See if it's a legit state or not then!

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:52 | 979773 sudzee
sudzee's picture

Isreal will cease to exist shortly.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:56 | 979783 midtowng
midtowng's picture

Am I the only one that thinks this is a huge non-story?

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:07 | 979801 UGrev
UGrev's picture

No, I'm with you on the "nothing-burger".. 

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:20 | 979834 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

Perhaps you did not read the first comment on the thread.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 19:16 | 980316 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Are you purposely ignoring the fact that the two ships can carry cargo, in spite of their age?  Cargo that could create all kinds of mischief.  It's hard to take your comments seriously when you ignore all of the different ways these two old ships could actually trigger hostilities or war.  No one is saying these ships will trigger a war.  But thoughtful people all understand that these two ships could trigger one.

This is most definitely not a non-story.  All kinds of folks are watching and waiting to see how this plays out.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 23:05 | 980687 Rick64
Rick64's picture

 With the U.S. and Israel looking for an opportunity to attack this would be suicide for Iran.  They would be very vulnerable in the Suez canal and could be inspected if Egypt chose to do so. The U.S. Navy is omnipresent in the ME. If they actually overcame all those obstacles and delivered some weapons to Syria. Then Syria would have to be willing to commit suicide by using them. How many weapons could they deliver with 2 vessels, and how many could Syria launch before they were obliterated by the U.S. and Israel?

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 04:07 | 981039 RichardP
RichardP's picture

With the U.S. and Israel looking for an opportunity to attack ...

Neither Israel or the U.S. are looking for an opportunity to attack.  Neither are they looking for an excuse to attack.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:28 | 979851 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

2 ships make a flotilla?

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:38 | 979871 Rockford
Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:38 | 979873 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Debka is literally the pathetic equivalent of World Net Daily.

Who runs Debka, anyways? I've yet to read one story in that spook-backed rag (aka propaganda and misinformation machine) that has materialized, year after God-forsaken year.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:46 | 979893 Threeggg
Threeggg's picture

Morocco just joined the party and started protesting.

This is going to be one interesting week.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 19:29 | 980344 sushi
sushi's picture

Strange no one objected when a boat load of STUXNET went the other way. Ratfucking other folks industrial processes, well, that is just peacenik fun and games.

And when that same STUXNET is reverse engineered and starts showing up in the collapse of other country's processes I wonder who will get blamed?

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 00:20 | 980759 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

one ratfuck at a time.  after all, real plants don't use ProfiBus ;-0

Besides, it was just the centrifuges that the Iranians don't have to refine UF6 that they don't have that weren't blown apart through the hack that didn't occur.

- Ned

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 08:46 | 981188 Adam Neira
Adam Neira's picture

The "Will they" or "Wont they" Suez/Iran ship transit question is far more significant than what most people realise. The Iranians are pushing the trust envelope. The recent P5+1 meeting in Istanbul was positive but inconclusive. Everything is coming to a head. There is a timetable that will trump all others. Watch what unfolds over the next eighty four days. May 16th is a crucial date. Some quite amazing things are about to happen...

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 11:03 | 981500 ibjamming
ibjamming's picture

Is Iran looking for a fight?  If so...


They park the ship off the coast...Syria (someone inside) launches a few rockets into Israel...Israel retaliates...The Iranian ship "defends" on.  But that's ONLY if Iran is they a have a few nukes of their own?


Just a thought...

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