Egyptian Naval Forces recently rejected a U.S. demand to fire on an Iranian vessel loaded with arms and heading to Syria, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority told Al Arabiya.
Vice Admiral Mohab Mamish, also former commander of the Egyptian Navy, ruled out the possibility of any military operations in the Suez Canal, to guarantee the security of the international waterway.
“My main goal since I was appointed chairman of the Suez Canal Authority on August 12 is to secure all ships passing through the waterway,” he said in an interview Saturday. “The Suez Canal is a narrow waterway and it is impossible for military actions to take place there.”
Mamish also confirmed in an interview with private satellite Channel Al-Hayat that the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces had objected to the presence of US ships at the southern entrance of the Suez Canal during the January 25 revolution.
Asked about the content of ships passing through the Suez, Mamish said the authority is notified 24 hours in advance of passage about the weight and nature of the items on board each ship.
“The Suez Canal Authority verifies this information before giving the ship a permission to pass,” he said.
Mamish was recently appointed Suez Canal Authority chairman by newly-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.