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Sunday, June 20, 2010


Twelve US warships and at least one Israeli warship passed through the Suez Canal on Friday on their way to the Red Sea. Included among the US fleet is the aircraft carrier, USS Harry S Truman.

It was reported that some Egyptian politicians were upset at their government for allowing these warships to pass through, however, because of the Constantinople Convention of the Suez Canal, March 1888, which is still in force, the Egyptians are obliged to allow all vessels, regardless of who or what they are, (but provided they are not actually at war with Egypt), to pass through the Canal. This means that, while some maybe unhappy that Western and Israeli warships are allowed to use the Canal; it also means that the Iranians are also allowed to use the Canal, which, of course has not made the Israelis very happy.

Two Iranian aid ships have left from Iran. One left last Sunday, 13 June, while another left on Friday, 18 June. Some reports have these vessels sailing to the Gaza via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal from Khorramshahr in south west Iran whilst another states that one of the Iranian vessels is sailing from Istanbul, Turkey.

It seems inevitable that the Iranian ship steaming up the Red Sea toward Suez is likely to come across the US/Israeli war flotilla coming the other way and that this is likely to happen in the next day or two. What happens when they do confront each other could well determine the future of the Middle East.

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