E: 1.42, S: -1.22
Israeli warships rehearse for Iran attack in Red Sea
Israeli warships have deployed to the Red Sea for what has been described as a rehearsal for a possible attack on Iran.
By Our Foreign Staff
Published: 2:20PM BST 16 Jul 2009
Israeli and Egyptian officials said two ships had sailed through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea.
Media reports in Israel said the two Saar-class missile ships had been sent as a "message" to the Tehran government, which has repeatedly issued threats against Israel and is developing nuclear technology believed by the West to be intended for atomic weapons programme.
While Iran denies this, saying its enrichment of uranium is for civlian purposes only, so that it can generate electricity.
Israel has also deployed a submarine using the Suez Canal, but it has since returned to the Mediterranean.
Defence experts in Israel said this week that the naval activity had been publicised with the intent of sending a message to Iran.
The Israeli government has reserved the right to carry out a first strike on Iran's nuclear facilities if the country continues to defy the international community and spreads instability in the Middle East.
Israel also accuses Iran of sponsoring the Hizbollah movement in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.