Israel said Iran’s decision to send two navy ships through the Suez Canal today was part of a campaign to gain spreading influence over the Middle East.
The warships sailed through the canal en route to Syria in what Israel said was a provocation by the Iranian regime.
It is the first time Iranian military vessels have sailed into the Mediterranean since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Israel’s vice prime minister, Silvan Shalom, said the move was part of an Iranian struggle “against the West for hegemony and control in the Middle East.”
He said Iran’s goal was to show the Arab world “who the new leader is in the Middle East.”
Israel considers Iran to be its greatest threat.