WARNING: Iran's president Ahmadinejad
By Kirsty Buchanan
IRANIAN President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed to breach Israel's blockade of Gaza, as two aid ships and a military escort prepare to set sail.
In a provocative move the Iranian Red Crescent was this weekend due to send two vessels packed with food and medical aid and 70 relief workers.
A third ship, carrying an operating theatre, could follow.
President Ahmadinejad raised the spectre of a sea battle as he warned the ships would be carrying an escort of "volunteer marines" ready to "teach Israelis a lesson".
Ali Shirazi, the Revolutionary Guard's spokesman for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said it was "Iran's duty to defend the innocent people of Gaza". Foreign Secretary William Hague described the intervention as "unhelpful".