TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran has taken up action set up a permanent base in Antarctica, Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Gholam Reza Khadem Biqam announced on Tuesday.
“Deployment in antarctic waters is on Islamic Republic of Iran’s agenda, and in the first phase this presence may take place within the framework of cooperation with the countries which have been there, and in the next stage in an independent manner,” Rear Admiral Khadem Biqam said in an exclusive interview with FNA today.
He underlined that Iran has already initiated research expeditions by the Navy’s Oceanography Institute.
“This move has already been initiated based on the Navy’s possibilities and facilities for now,” Biqam said.
“The first step is familiarity with the relevant maritime culture and research expeditions by the Oceanography Institute and the next steps should be taken gradually,” the Iranian Navy Lieutenant commander continued.
“The next phase of the Oceanography Institute’s expedition missions will start in the coming days.”
“The later stages will definitely include construction of the Institute’s own vessels,” he stressed.
Rear Admiral Khadem Biqam said that there are a series of privileges and benefits in the North and South Poles and many powerful countries have gone there to conduct explorations which might be useful for them in the future.
“However, since Islamic Republic of Iran has a clear path of access to the South Pole through its Makaran coasts on the rims of the Persian Gulf…. it necessary to be present there and then probably as it has been brought in the Oceanography Institute’s program setting up a base in the South Pole is on our agenda which is, of course, a difficult task,” he added.
Iran has recently decided to expand its presence in the South Pole with the aim of conducting more research projects.
In November 2012, Iranian Deputy Minister of Science for Research and Technology Mohammad Mehdi Nejad-Nouri announced that the country plans to include South Pole in its maritime researches in a five-year plan.
Nejad-Nouri pointed to the presence of many countries in the Antarctica for conducting research in the South Pole and using its resources, and said, “Iran’s presence in the pole is necessary for our country’s and the regional states’ national interests; therefore, a five-year plan has been devised in order to expand our presence in the South Pole.”
He reminded that Iran’s sea borders in Northern and Southern parts of the country stretch for 6,000 km and as a “maritime power” it should be active in Antarctica research.
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