The Dolphin-class attack submarine was the first Israeli naval vessel to transit the Suez Canal in four years on its way from Haifa to Eilat last month. According to DEBKAfile's military sources, the move indicates a strengthening of the informal Israel-Egyptian-Saudi pact forged in recent months against Iran and first revealed by our sources. The Israeli Dolphins are stationed in the Mediterranean, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean opposite Iran's shores. They are said to be armed with torpedo tubes capable of launching nuclear-capable cruise missiles. To transit the Suez Canal, the armed submarine would have required Egyptian permission at the highest level, possibly even President Hosni Mubarak. One official in Cairo told Reuters that its passage would not be problematic as Egypt and Israel are not at war. This noncommittal response indicates that Egypt would have no objection to Israeli military craft passing through the canal on their way to the Red Sea and on to the Persian Gulf in case of a decision to strike Iran. The alternative would be a voyage of weeks around the Horn of Africa.