Sunday, February 20, 2011

Iran Ships Journey to Syria Delayed

Notwithstanding reports from Iran’s state-owned broadcasting system, the AFP is now reporting that the passage of the two Iranian warships through the Suez into the Mediterranean has been delayed by two days and it is now scheduled for Wednesday. The IRIB and its Arabic affiliate the Alalam had earlier reported that the ships had actually crossed into the Mediterranean.

"The shipping agent handling the two Iranian warships has told the canal administration to push back their passage by two days," a Suez official told AFP on Sunday [AFP, 20 February].

The ships, the frigate Alvand and its replenishment ship Kharg, are expected to anchor in the Syrian port of Latakia after passing the Suez.


Atlanta Roofing said...

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?

Nader Uskowi said...

I have said before that sending a sole frigate to waters that are considered hostile does not make any sense. I do not believe the Iranian Navy was behind this decision. It appears this was a purely political decision by the Iranian government to show that developments in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world were game changers favoring Iran, so much so that it can now send its warships through the Suez. But I agree that this is a risky move, and I am not sure all its implications have been studied by the government of Iran.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Nader always view every action taken by the Iranian government with such negativity and contempt.Never right or enough for Mr. Nader.What's the problem if Iran's navy sail through to Syria?Unless you think Iran is also not entitled to that as well.No?

Why don't you run for president of Iran in the next elections?

Oh, i forgot.You don't even live in Iran..

Nader Uskowi said...

Anon 3:23 AM,

Sending warships through the Suez and on to a Syrian port is not a matter of entitlement, it is a matter of policy and politics. What I have discussed here is that no professional navy would send a single frigate into waters it considers hostile, and I do not believe the Iranian navy would do it, hence my belief that the decision must have been taken by the political leadership. If they wanted to send ships to the Syrian port, they should have sent larger force for force protection reasons.

Your suggestion to run for the office, I take it as a compliment, thanks. There are so many great Iranian citizens qualified for the post, they don't need a US citizen!!

Gifted one said...

Nader you are absolutely wrong, waters governed by treaty agreements should not, by definition, be considered hostile. This is the same privilege the US claims when it stages naval exercises in close proximity to Chinese shores. In the past it has been reported that Israeli warships have used the Suez, I don't recall you railing against that, apparently Israel showing it's ability to intimidate Iran through naval theatrics is not an issue for this blog.
As the Egyptian authourities rightly stated Iran has the right to travess the Suez canal, so unless you think US and Israeli intimidation should replace international law I suggest that Iran has the absolute right to sail it's ships whereever and whenever international law dictates it can, like ever other nation. As an Iranian yourself you really should be advocating nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Except for "juntas" the military (Navy) should always be subordinate to the government (politicians), although even in "democracies" they sometimes tend to think otherwise (esp. the USA).

Furthermore, even if Iran had a "proper" Navy and had ordered a substantial part of it to the Med., do you really think they would have a greater chance of surviving an American or even Israeli military response to this "provocation" (funny: 1 old "boat"+escort against scores of Western warships sailing through the Strait of Hormuz every month)?

Besides, didn't they make it clear they were planning to sail to Syria months before Mubarak's exit?!

Nader Uskowi said...

Gifted one,

There we go again. I am talking about naval doctrine, how not to send a sole frigate to hostile waters. You are talking about the rights of nations to hold military exercises in international waters. If you did not have such great command of the language, I would have thought you had missed the point.

Also when did we claim that this blog covers US and Israel? Why do you expect us to cover US exercises off the Chinese coast? There are so many good blogs that do just that. We concentrate on Iran developments.

No needs to make any observations political. The point made here is not about rights, nationalities, or international law. Simply put, when you send a naval ship out you need to have the force protection for it.

Anon 8:04 AM,

Just because the military answers to the civilians, it does not mean that the politicians cannot order wrong commands! The chain of command was not at issue here, just the correctness of the decision made. By the way, same problem would have still existed if Mubarak were still president. This is not about Egypt.

Gifted one said...

Nader in your haste to refute my point you missed it entirely. If you reread my comment you'll see that i never asked you to comment about matters Chinese, I had used that to highlight your misleading comments about "hostile waters". Iran is asking to sail through the Suez and on to Syria, never entering territorial waters of hostile states. You should also know that when Israel sent it's warships through the Suez it was all about threatening Iran, why you say that you don't have to mention that is BIZARRE!

By your reasoning, if the US threatens to sink Iranian vessels in the Persian gulf, then the Persian Gulf would become hostile waters that Iran should avoid! Preposterous! Iran should be allowed to sail whereever it is LEGAL to sail WITHOUT fear of attack.

You also say, "The point made here is not about rights, nationalities, or international law. Simply put, when you send a naval ship out you need to have the force protection for it."

Absolutely not true! Rights and international law DETERMINE where and when vessels, including military vessels can sail without what you refer to as "force protection", by which I guess you mean various types of support vessels.

The right of passage DOES NOT depend on force of arms Nader, maybe in the 17th century it did, but i don't think you're that old.

This is why there are SINGLE British Navy ships sailing off the coast of South America doing drug interdiction missions, and British navy Minesweepers sailing in the Persian Gulf. Because international law ALLOWS them to be there. All the "force protection" in the Royal Navy wouldn't save the British if they violated international law by infringing on Iranian territorial waters.

The problem Nader is that you consistently substitute the actions of the Iranian state with the paranoid motivations devised by Iran's enemies as an explanation for those actions. You should stick to what has ACTUALLY been said in comments, and what Iran is ACTUALLY doing, and stop rewriting, and misrepresenting both.

Anonymous said...

Nader Uskowi stated:

There we go again. I am talking about naval doctrine, how not to send a sole frigate to hostile waters....

I think the fundamental point is that Mediteranian Sea is not hostile water to Iran. It is international water. Subsequently Iran like any other nation not in war has the right to be there.

I do not think think USA or Israel have the stomach to start an attack on a non hostile naval ship. This intention of passing of Iranian warships has increaded the oil price by 1.8%. So the market is already so jittery about any sign of tension. Imagine some lunatic decides to attack Alvant. Iran retaliates by firing few shore to sea missile in Hormoz. Assorted variety of ships sunk! The price for everyone will be too prohibitive.

Anonymous said...

If Iran wants to send a flotilla through the Suez then that's fine. If they want to do it and then have the stupidity to try and sneak long range ballistic missiles enroute for Hizbollah thru the Suez then Iranian ships are going to face loaded guns pointed at their temples at the same time being surrounded by half a dozen US warships waiting on the other end with a special warning to Tehran not to do anything stupid. And if the Iranian Navy decides to come through, since they will be in international waters, those US warships may just decide to inspect Iranian cargo as permited by UN sanctions against Iran in the case of suspicious war freights. Iran got outsmarted and now has it's tail between it's legs... What's your next move Iran.

Anonymous said...

Another way of looking at this Suez Canal saga is Iran's way of putting more pressure on the US and making them rethink their commitment to Israel's security.

Ever since the announcement of these two ships passing, it's cost the US more in terms of cash and even affected the dollar.Is the US ready to start another war for Israel over two Iranian ships?Indeed, Israel's catatonic behavior fully supported and endorsed by the US is now seen as too costly by some US politicians and the trend is growing.

For Iran, they have nothing to loose.A refusal by Egypt will be a BIG PR for Iran as and also bad for the new Egyptian regime as they'll be seen by their people as still subservient to American dictacts.After what happened in Tahir square, i don't think they'll willing risk that - at least not for now.

If they're allowed to go through, Israel can't do squat.Another PR success.Iran knows very well that with the recent development in the region, America's commitment to all her clients is under great pressure and is NOT looking to start shooting wars with Iran anytime soon or ever.

In effect, this move by Iran, although crazy as it may seem, falls in line with their objective(driving the US out of the region & driving a wedge between US/Israeli relations).

Anonymous said...
the ships have already crossed the suez

the delay was a fake