4:46 PM Iran denies it canceled request to cross Suez. Says transit plan is still on.
UPDATE: Iran cancels request for Naval ships to cross Suez.
No explanation given for the cancellation.
The big talk in Israel (besides the incredible 7.8% growth of Israel’s GDP last quarter) are the Iranian warships coming down the Suez Canal and traveling to Syria to spend a year docked in their port.
They’re not really very impressive warships from what I hear (a supply ship and a converted frigate).
But attacking Israel with them is hardly the point.
They’re not even trying to demonstrate a quid pro quo after Israel sent a submarine (allegedly nuclear armed) through the Suez and towards Iranian waters last year.
Perhaps at best they have a secondary mission of getting some arms to the Palestinian (Hamas) terrorists in Gaza.
And I guess one could reasonably worry they’ve got a dirty bomb on board.
But, I think it’s about something else entirely.
A few days ago these same Iranian ships docked in Saudi Arabia. Now they are on their way to Syria (and Lebanon).
This isn’t an Iranian show of Power – how strong their fleet is.
This is an Iranian show of Influence.
This is about how long their tentacles are growing, how influential their country is becoming, and what countries the US might soon be losing.
This “flotilla” is a message to the US that Iran views itself as a waxing global superpower untouchable by waning US influence.
Iran will have nuclear weapons, satellites, ICBMs, naval fleets, and military industries. It doesn’t matter if they are all third rate now (and likely to blow up at any point). Their point is that they are on the rise and the US can’t do anything about that.
In terms of global perceptions, Saudi Arabia is more likely to align now with Iran in the long term – despite the comments on Wikileaks – because Iran’s sphere of influence is growing and replacing America’s wishy-washy, unreliable alliance.
There are other messages in these ships, not all to Israel or the US either. Because that’s what these ships are about, not an attack, just a warning shot over the bow.
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