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Israeli, American submarine activity suggests show of force against Iran

Israel reportedly dispatched a submarine to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in what has been taken as a clear warning to Iran not to escalate tensions at this sensitive time of transition.
A picture taken on November 22, 2016 shows an Israeli army Dolphin-class submarine sailing at Israel's Naval port in the Mediterranean city of Haifa. / AFP / JACK GUEZ        (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Two submarines set off from different ports several weeks ago, heading in the same general direction: Iran. One was the US Navy’s guided-missile submarine Georgia, a nuclear attack sub. The other was an Israeli-flagged sub, a diesel-powered Dolphin-class submarine often used for intelligence collection, that crossed the Suez Canal three weeks ago. Egypt reportedly approved the crossing, sending an Egyptian navigator to board the sub, which according to foreign reports has nuclear cruise missile capabilities, as it entered the canal and accompany it throughout. Once he disembarked, the Israeli sub continued toward the Red Sea, from where it could have veered left toward the Strait of Hormuz.

Were the two journeys linked? According to Western intelligence sources, the vessels were part of a coordinated American-Israeli show of force designed to signal Iran that any attempt to exploit the presidential transition period to settle accounts with the United States or Israel would be met with an immediate and powerful response.

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