Iran Sent Warships Through Suez Canal to Syria; Networks Barely Touch Development

Two Iranian warships docked in the Syrian seaport of Latakia on Thursday, the Associated Press reported yesterday:

The chief of Iran's navy, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, said the frigate Alvand and the supply ship Kharq are in Syria for a training mission. He rejected Israeli criticism that the trip was provocative.

Of course, the Iranian and Syrian regimes are allies and co-sponsors of terroristic violence against the state of Israel, an ally of the United States.

So certainly such a provocative move should command coverage by the mainstream media, yet thus far among the Big Three networks, it appears from a search of Nexis that ABC has ignored the story while NBC and CBS have only done anchor briefs on the development.


From the February 20 Sunday "Today" show:

JEFF ROSSEN, anchor: In Iran, state television reporting this morning that two Iranian navy vessels are approaching Egypt's Suez Canal. This would be the first passage for Iranian ships through that waterway since 1979. Israel calls it a provocative move, accusing Iran of trying to exploit the instability of the region.

From Monday's "Today" show:

TAMRON HALL, anchor: Iran's first attempt to send warships through the Suez Canal since 1979 has been postponed at least until Wednesday. Iran's passage through the strategic waterway is being criticized as an attempt to exploit the current unrest in Egypt.

From Tuesday's "Today" show:

ANN CURRY, anchor: For the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran has sent warships into the Suez Canal in a move that Israel has blasted as provocative and exploitive of the unrest in the region.

From the Tuesday "CBS Evening News":

[KATIE] COURIC: And adding to the tension in the Middle East, Iran today sent Navy ships through Egypt`s Suez Canal for the first time since the 1979 revolution. A frigate and a supply ship are now headed to Syria for training exercises. Israel`s vice premier called it part of a move by Iran to control the Middle East.

From the Tuesday "Early Show"

[JEFF GLOR, news anchor:] Now to Iran. Two Iranian navy ships are making their way through the Suez Canal this morning. It`s the first time the Iranian military ships have traveled the hundred-and-twenty-mile canal in thirty years. What many consider a provocation aimed at Israel. The ships are expected to finish their trip later today.

From the Feb.18 CBS "Evening News":

[ERICA HILL, anchor:] One more note from the Middle East. Egypt`s military gave Iran the go-ahead today to send Navy ship through the Suez Canal to get to Syria. The first time that has happened since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Israel`s foreign minister calls it a provocation. Israel, of course, is a bitter enemy of both Iran and Syria.

Yet there were no in-depth reports from Israel followed these anchor briefs, nor any reports from Foggy Bottom about the response, if any, from the Obama/Clinton State Department.

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