Two Iranian naval ships entered the Suez Canal on Tuesday and were heading towards the Mediterranean, a canal official said, a move certain to anger Israel.
"They entered the canal at 5:45 a.m.," the official told Reuters. No other details were immediately available.
The Suez Canal cuts through Egypt and allows shipping to pass from the Middle East to Europe and vice versa without circumnavigating the southern tip of Africa.
The canal's northern mouth, Port Said, is around 100 km (60 miles) from Israel, but the ships' route to Syria, their intended destination, would take them parallel to the Israeli coast.
The vessels are a frigate and a supply ship.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously said he would take a "grave view" of the passage of the ships, the first Iranian naval vessels to go through the canal since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.
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