The problem in Egypt is now seeming to set off a chain reaction, and one has to wonder where all of this is going.
Now Iran is becoming dangerously involved in this volatile mix - a new development which will certainly add further instability to the region:
Navy on alert as 2 Iranian warships transit Suez Canal
The Israel Navy was tracking two Iranian warships as they were set to make a rare crossing of the Suez Canal late Wednesday night.
The vessels were to cross into the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Syria. Defense officials said Israel would monitor them, although their presence in the sea would not change anything for the navy’s operational deployment.
“It is strange for the Iranian Navy to use the Suez Canal since it really doesn’t have anything to do in the Mediterranean Sea,” one official said.
Foreign Minister Lieberman characterizes the situation:
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the planned transit of the canal by the ships a “provocation that proves that the overconfidence of the Iranians is growing from day to day.”
Speaking at a meeting in Jerusalem of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Lieberman lashed out at the international community, which he said was not doing enough to confront Iranian provocations.
The U.S. has also recognized this situation:
State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said the US was monitoring the ships’ movements.
“There are two ships in the Red Sea – what their intention is, what their destination is, I can’t say,” Crowley told reporters in Washington.
Israel: Iranian Warships in Med are a 'Serious Provocation'
Israel is "closely monitoring" Iranian plans to deploy warships in the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, Israeli security officials told daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot Monday.
Iranian officials have announced plans to deploy warships to areas near Israel and to dock at a Syrian port for a year.
Such a move would be a "serious provocation," a senior official said. There is no justification for Iran to deploy its battleships to the Mediterranea Sea, he said, and if it does so, Israel will view the move as "a change in the situation" and "Israel will know how to deal with it."
Its always interesting to see what Debka has with breaking information in the Middle East:
Two Iranian warships transit Suez for Syria, tighten siege on Israel
As usual, we get the bottom line on this issue and we can now see the significance of the instability in Egypt:
Up until now, Saudi Arabia, in close conjunction with Egypt and its President Hosni Mubarak, led the Sunni Arab thrust to contain Iranian expansion – especially in the Persian Gulf.
However, the opening of a Saudi port to war ships of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the first time in the history of their relations points to a fundamental shift in Middle East trends in consequence of the Egyptian uprising. It was also the first time Cairo has permitted Iranian warships to transit Suez from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, although Israeli traffic in the opposite direction had been allowed.
DEBKAfile's military sources report that Iran is rapidly seizing the fall of the Mubarak regime in Cairo and the Saudi King Abdullah's falling-out with President Barack Obama (see DEBKAfile of Feb. 10, 2011) as an opportunity not to be missed for establishing a foothold along the Suez Canal and access to the Mediterranean for six gains:
1. To cut off, even partially, the US military and naval Persian Gulf forces from their main route for supplies and reinforcements;
2. To establish an Iranian military-naval grip on the Suez Canal, through which 40 percent of the world's maritime freights pass every day:
3. To bring an Iranian military presence close enough to menace the Egyptian heartland of Cairo and the Nile Delta and squeeze it into joining the radical Iranian-Syrian-Iraqi-Turkish alliance;
4. To thread a contiguous Iranian military-naval line from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea through the Suez Canal and the Gaza Strip and up to the ports of Lebanon, where Hizballah has already seized power and toppled the pro-West government.
5. To eventually sever the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, annex it to the Gaza Strip and establish a large Hamas-ruled Palestinian state athwart the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea.
By comparison, a Fatah-led Palestinian state on the West Bank within the American orbit be politically and strategically inferior.
6. To tighten the naval and military siege on Israel.
Israel braces for the worst:
PM on Egypt: Israel must 'prepare for worst'
Israel shares the world’s hopes that Egypt will succeed in its quest for genuine reform, but unlike other democracies it cannot just hope for the best, but must prepare for the worst, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday.
Speaking to the annual Jerusalem meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Netanyahu said that part of preparing for the worst was “to alert leaders and policy-makers around the world of possible dangers that may lie ahead
Israel agrees to more troops in demilitarized Sinai
Israel is concerned about reports that Egyptian police have abandoned Sinai in the face of growing Beduin violence and fear the territory will turn into a global jihad breeding ground. Egyptian police left dozens of stations throughout the peninsula after they were attacked by Beduin armed with missiles and assault rifles.
According to defense officials, Israel decided to allow the Egyptians to deploy more troops in Sinai in small numbers to secure the gas pipeline and prevent the smuggling of weaponry from the peninsula into the Gaza Strip. Earlier this month, terrorists bombed a gas station in Sinai, leading to a suspension of gas supplies from Egypt to Israel.
Things are moving quite rapidly in the Middle East right now. Change is in the air - and none of it seems favorable to Israel.
Of course that is exactly what we would expect, prophetically.
Iran's growing attempts at influence is interesting, as we know that their grip will extend into northern africa, based on the fact that northern Africa will be part of the coalition that invades Israel in the battle/war of Gog-MaGog - something we are continually watching.
These recent developments appear to be consolidating this coalition and also seem to be giving Iran more confidence in the region. That is most definitely an ominous development for Israel.