x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Israeli submarine crosses Suez Canal

An Israeli submarine crossed through the Suez Canal last month as a part of a military training exercise, defence officials say.

An Israeli submarine crossed through the Suez Canal last month as a part of a military training exercise, defence officials said today. The move is believed to have been made as a warning to Iran of the Jewish state's capabilities and to show that Israel and Egypt are co-operating against a shared threat. The two countries share a peace agreement but have had strained relations for years. By using the Suez, an Israeli submarine could reach the Persian Gulf off Iran in a matter of days, compared wiith weeks to sail around the southern tip of Africa. The submarine participated in naval manoeuvres in the Red Sea last month, said Israeli defence officials who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. They did not give further details. Israel owns three dolphin-grade submarines, which can carry nuclear warheads. Israeli defence officials do not discuss the type of missiles that can be fired from the submarines, nor their range. Israeli officials have a long-standing policy of neither confirming nor denying its nuclear arsenal and would not comment Saturday. It is believed, however, to have the world's sixth-largest stockpile of atomic arms, including hundreds of warheads. The manoeuvres took place before the Iranian presidential election that set off a wave of protest demonstrations. Israeli officials believe that Iran intends to acquire the ability to build nuclear weapons regardless of who leads the country. * AP