ISRAEL : Nuclear attack submarines through the Suez Canal with Egypt’s OK

Iran in the Dolphin’s cross hairs. War game in the Red Sea

The Dolphin emerged from the water in front of the beach-goers come to bathe at Eilat, the Israeli port in the Gulf of Aqabah on the Red Sea. No sea mammal but a Dolphin, one of the Israeli submarines armed with nuclear missiles. Although the news made a sensation, it is actually no mystery that Dolphins crisscross the Red Sea to keep Iran in their sights. We wrote on this seven years ago in the manifesto (5 April 2002). The first subs of this class, equipped with sophisticated navigation and combat systems, were supplied to Israel by Germany in the 1990s, two of them as a gift. At Israel’s request, besides the six 533 mm launching tubes, suitable for short-range cruising missiles, all the subs were outfitted with four additional 659 mm tubes for launching long-range nuclear cruising missiles: the Popeye Turbos, which can strike targets up to 1500 km away. These missiles are a spin-off from the US versions and were manufactured jointly by the Israeli firm Rafael and Lockheed-Martin in an airborne version.

In 2010 the three nuclear attack-submarines were joined by two others, again from Germany. They were built in the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG shipyards at a cost of 1.27 billion dollars, one third of which was financed by the German government. The Jerusalem Post confirms that also the two new ones, whose type-code is U-212, were built according to “Israeli specifications”: they are faster (20 knots), have a wider range of action (4,500 km), and are more silent, allowing them to close in on objectives without being spotted.

According to military experts, one of the three Dolphins furnished by Germany patrols the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, the second is deployed in the Mediterranean, while the third is held in reserve. With the addition of two more, the number of those under sail, ready to launch a nuclear attack, has as much as doubled. And this is only part of Israel’s nuclear might, estimated as between 200-400 warheads, equivalent to almost four thousand Hiroshima-type bombs, and whose vectors include over three-hundred US F-16 and F-15 fighter planes and about fifty Jericho II ballistic missiles on mobile launching ramps. These and other nuclear weapons are ready for launching around the clock.

The Israeli government, which rejects the Non-Proliferation Treaty, does not admit to possessing nuclear weapons (the existence of which is acknowledged by the International Atomic Energy Agency), but lets it be understood that it has them and can use them. This explains how it is that the Dolphin appeared before the eyes of the bathers in Eilat and the Jerusalem Post published the news that it had transited through the Suez Canal on the way back from maneuvers in the Red Sea. As the Jerusalem Post itself explains, “It’s a signal to Iran.” In other words, a way of making clear to Iran and other countries in the region, which have no nuclear weapons, that Israel does and is ready to use them.

A further “warning signal to Iran” is the news, carried by Haaretz, that yesterday two Israeli warships, the Hanit and the Eilat, sailed through the Suez Canal bound for the Red Sea. The Hanit had already transited in June along with the Dolphin. This points to an Israeli-Egyptian, anti-Iran agreement. Israeli military sources themselves speak of a “policy change” that would allow naval units to transit freely through the Canal. It was borne out by the Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who defined Israel’s use of the Suez Canal as “legitimate,” in that it was sanctioned by “an agreement between Cairo and Jerusalem.”. Consequently there is now a closer strategic link between the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf.


And while Israel practices for a nuclear attack on Iran, the G8 leaders (almost all of them active supporters of the Israeli military nuclear program) denounce “the risks of proliferation due to Iran’s nuclear program” in documents approved at Aquila in the July 8 summit “while at supper.”

(il manifesto, 15 July 2009)

Articles by: Manlio Dinucci

About the author:

Manlio Dinucci est géographe et journaliste. Il a une chronique hebdomadaire “L’art de la guerre” au quotidien italien il manifesto. Parmi ses derniers livres: Geocommunity (en trois tomes) Ed. Zanichelli 2013; Geolaboratorio, Ed. Zanichelli 2014;Se dici guerra…, Ed. Kappa Vu 2014.

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