News across the wires reports that Iran is willing to provide a military escort to cargo ships looking to break through the Gaza blockade. Arutz Sheva reports: (emphasis is mine)
“Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are willing to provide a military escort to cargo ships trying to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, a spokesman for Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying Sunday. The news was carried by Reuters, quoting Iranian news agency Mehr:
‘Iran’s navy forces are ready to escort the peace flotilla to Gaza with all their powers and capabilities, announced Ali Shirazi, Khamenei’s representative inside the Revolutionary Guards.’
The report came just a day after Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reportedly considering personally joining a flotilla to Gaza and offering the support of the Turkish Navy to protect such flotillas from Israeli inspections.
A naval force from either country heading toward Gaza would be tantamount to a declaration of war on Israel, which is a very small country that is surrounded by hostile Muslim entities.”
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It is important to remember that Egypt is also part of the Gaza blockade, but Egypt has already eased up on their blockade after the incident between the Israeli Navy and the pro-Palestinian flotilla. The White House has been hemming and hawing on standing by Israel at this time, but the time is up. Our enemy Iran just upped the ante and playing both sides is not acceptable here.
Update June 6, 2010 2:30 pm EST
Fox News is reporting the U.S. Israeli Ambassador has said his country will do “whatever it takes” to defend itself. (emphasis is mine):
“Ambassador Michael Oren said Israel is “open to any ideas to somehow deal with the Gaza situation” but dropping the blockade is unlikely since that would mean allowing thousands of rockets to arrive in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
If Iran sends its elite military unit to escort any other ships — as it has suggested it would — “Israel will also do whatever it takes to defend itself from Hamas terror,” Oren told “Fox News Sunday.”
“Israel will do what it has to do to defend 7.5 million Israelis,” he said.
Iranian-backed Hamas is recognized by the United States, Israel and the European Union as a terrorist organization. Since having taken control of the Gaza Strip four years ago, Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israel.”