In a First Iranian Ship Crosses Equator, Spreading its Net of Terror

By Arie Egozi

Foreign Affairs

Tel Aviv: Iran continues to spread its net of terror around the world, according to a detailed plan prepared by this country’s leaders. According to Israeli analysts, the Iranian plan is met by a “surprising level of ignorance” from the US and other countries.

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According to Iran International, the website operated from London by the opposition to the regime in Tehran, amid an Iran-backed blockade of the Red Sea, an Iranian warship has crossed the equator into the Southern Hemisphere for the first time, media in Tehran reported on May 5.

The IRGC-affiliated Tasnim news agency announced the news of Shahid Mahdawi, a container ship converted into a fighting vessel, crossing the equator, for the first time in Iran’s naval history.

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The vessel, which officially joined the IRGC Navy in March 2023, weighs over 2,100 tons and measures 240 metres in length and 27 metres in width.

In February, the IRGC conducted a test-launch of medium-range missiles from the Shahid Mahdawi, which it claims can strike targets up to 1,700 kilometres (1,050 miles) away. The launch marked the first instance of Iran sending a naval ship on such a long-range mission.

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The presence of the heavily armed vessel raises concerns about regional security, particularly in light of Iran’s recent hijackings in the Strait of Hormuz and military activity in the Gulf of Oman, and its support for the Yemeni Houthis who have been blockading the Red Sea region since November.

Iran allegedly operates spy ships in the Red Sea, including the commercial cargo ships Behshad and Saviz, which have been linked to espionage activities without any direct confrontation from the US, despite awareness of their operations.

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