Lieberman: Iran warships Suez route is provocation

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

Israel’s Foreign Minister has called the Iranian plan to send two warships to Syria through the Suez Canal tonight a “provocation”.

Avigdor Lieberman suggested that Israel would not tolerate the action by Tehran, which would see warships deployed at several areas near Israel.

He demanded that Iran called off the move and appealed to the rest of the world "to show readiness to deal with the recurring Iranian provocations”.

Mr Lieberman said: “The international community must understand that Israel cannot forever ignore these provocations."

He added that the stunt proved Iran's nerve and self-esteem was “growing from day to day."

Earlier today Israeli President Shimon Peres criticised the Iranian government for its severe crackdown on the popular protests of the last few days.

Mr Peres said: "What the present Iranian leadership does is a shame on Iranian history, the Iranian culture and the pain of their own people."

Last updated: 11:24am, February 17 2011