Is Israel ratting its sabres at Iran?

July 16, 2009 at 5:43 PM   |   Comments

JERUSALEM, July 16 (UPI) -- Israeli naval activity in the Suez Canal as leaders gather for the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Egypt may be a subtle warning to Iran.

Israel sent its naval vessels through the Suez Canal as regional leaders, including Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, convene for the annual meeting of the members of the Non-Aligned Movement at the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheik.

Israel makes no secret of its military posture toward Iran. Israeli President Shimon Peres said in April that military options were on the table in the event U.S. efforts at detente failed.

Iran, for its part, advertises its hatred toward Israel by threatening to wipe the Jewish state off the map.

Meanwhile, the Israeli activity near Egypt during such a high-profile meeting suggests Cairo may be sending a message to Iran as well, notes Emirati newspaper The National.

But Shlomo Brom, a senior analyst with the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, tells the newspaper that while the Israeli naval activity shows it is "capable" of striking Iran, that doesn't mean the activity is a sign of aggression.

"If Israel really meant to strike," he says, "it wouldn't publicize it like this."

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