Iranian warships, the destroyer Shahid Quandi and supply vessel Kharg, have sailed through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea, the Iran’s state news agency reported.
"The strategic navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has passed through the Suez Canal for the second time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution", navy commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari told Irna, without revealing what was the destination of the ships.
Mehr News Agency said the ships belonging to Iran's 18th fleet were headed to Syria, where they are to provide maritime training to Syria’s naval forces at the Imam Khomeini Naval Academy in Noshahr under an agreement signed between Tehran and Damascus a year ago.
Iran’s navy move comes amid growing tensions between Israel and Iran, and speculations Israel’s airstrikes are just a matter of day. Reportedly, Israel has put its navy on alert following Saturday’s announcement of Iran’s fleet entrance into the Mediterranean Sea.
Iran’s navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayari said the mission was a show of “might” and is to convey Tehran's "message of peace and friendship", but also to prove that Western sanctions against Iran have neither hindered its scientific progress nor decreased the country’s military capability.
Teheran has been boosting its navy’s presence in international waters since last year, deploying vessels to the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden in order to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates.