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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Says Navy Ships in Mediterranean Not Aggression

VOA News February 28, 2011

Iran's navy chief says dispatching two Iranian naval ships to the Mediterranean Sea for the first time in 30 years was not intended as an act of aggression.

Iranian Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told reporters in Damascus on Monday that the ships' voyage was meant to reinforce Iran's defense capabilities.

The Iranian naval ships docked in Syria last week after passing through Egypt's Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea -- an act Israel had called a "provocation."

It was the first time Iranian naval ships have used the canal since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has criticized the naval movement as a ploy by Iran to expand its regional influence at a time of instability.

Sayyari said fears from other nations were unjustified.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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