Iranian Flotilla From Caspian Sea
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One of the organizers of an Iranian flotilla to Gaza announced on Thursday that it had been cancelled after what he described as "Israeli threats" that the Jewish state would act against the flotilla's from the Islamic Republic and from Lebanon, according to Israel Defense Forces Radio.
At the same time, Iranian parliament member Mahmoud Ahmadi announced that another ship with 60 Iranians on board will set sail for Gaza with aid via the Caspian Sea because it was published in Lebanon that Egypt rejected an Israeli request to prevent Iranian ships from going toward Gaza via the Suez Canal.
This presents a problem. How does a ship get from the Caspian Sea (which is landlocked) to the Mediterranean Sea?
Wikipedia solves the mystery:
Although the Caspian Sea is endorheic, its main tributary, Volga, is connected by important shipping canals with the Don River (and thus the Black Sea) and with the Baltic Sea, with branch canals to Northern Dvina and to the White Sea.
The logical choice would be to take the Volga River to the Volga-Don Canal, then take a left at the Don River. This means that the flotilla must go through Russia. The Don River gets it to the Black Sea, which gets it to the Mediterranean through the Bosporus Strait and the Dardanelles.
This reminds me of this post, where I wrote, translating from חבלי משיח בזמנינו:
We have a tradition from the students of the Gr"a in the (Vilna) Gaon's name: "If the ships of the Russian government will cross over the Bosporus Strait ([and] the "Dardanelles"), we need to wear clothes of Shabbat" to tell you that at that time, it will soon be the coming of Mashiah.
These are not from the Russian government, but they certainly could stop the flotilla if they wanted to as it is passing through its territory. Egypt is using its authority to stop Iran's flotilla, but the Russian government apparently is not. "Ships of the Russian government" indeed.