Two Iranian warships have begun crossing the Suez Canal as Israel stressed its objection to their planned voyage to Syria.

The ships entered the canal early today after the approval of Egypt’s Defense Ministry, the state-run Middle East News Agency cited Ahmed El Manakhly, head of traffic at the Suez Canal Authority, as saying.

The 120-mile (190-kilometer) Suez Canal carries about 2.5 percent of world oil output, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and is a key route for ships carrying Asian consumer goods to Europe. Crude oil reached its highest level in a week in New York on Feb. 18 as tensions between Iran and Israel over the planned voyage helped to heighten concerns that instability in the region will affect energy supplies.

(Source: bloomberg.com)