Alwaght– Islamic Republic of Iran Navy is set to dispatch a fleet of its warships across the Atlantic Ocean in a move aimed at reasserting the country’s presence in international waters.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday in Tehran, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari disclosed plans for the country’s naval forces to sail across the Atlantic Ocean.
Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, the commander said crossing the Atlantic Ocean is on the agenda of the Navy. His comments came a week after an Iranian naval flotilla sailed for the first time into the Atlantic waters as part of a military mission. The Iranian Navy’s 44th flotilla of warships entered the Atlantic Ocean on November 22 after making a port call at South Africa’s Port of Durban.
Since Oct. 5, the 44th fleet of the Iranian navy embarked on voyage along Eastern and Southern Africa coastline and reached the Atlantic Ocean. Iran’s Navy Commander has said the fleet’s mission is to safeguard maritime routes used by Iranian vessels and oil tankers against pirates.
Iran’s navy escorted 3,844 tankers and vessels in anti-piracy operations
Iranian warships have escorted 3,844 oil tankers and vessels in the Gulf of Aden to safeguard the country’s economy.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has described the anti-piracy efforts by Iran’s Navy as effective. In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, safeguarding merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.
Speaking events marking Iran Navy Day marked on November 28, Rear Admiral Sayyari has also underlined that Iran’s naval presence in international waters is part of the country’s naval diplomacy aimed at conveying the message of peace and friendship.
Iran’s Navy commander also referred to remarks by US President-elect Donald Trump on his campaign trail back in September, when he claimed that if Iran “inappropriately” approached US ships, the country’s vessels would be “shot out of the water.” Such remarks can only be replied by “laughter,” Sayyari said. “The US thinks it is the world’s overlord. We don’t accept that.”
“They are not in the position to take decisions concerning the high seas,” the Navy chief asserted, adding, “Should any parties seek to prevent our presence in international waters, we would do the same to them.”
Iran’s historical presence in international waters
Iran is one of the few countries in the world that have been present in international waters for thousands of years. The Achemind dynasty, a Persian Empire founded in 550 BC and ruled over Western and Central Asia, was considered a global naval power with naval bases across the region. Even before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iranian naval forces landed at the American coast. Therefore the presence of Islamic Republic of Iran navy across the Atlantic is a continuation of the country’s presence in international waters. In any case, many countries in the world have sent their navies in international waters. For instance, Iran’s neighbor Pakistan’s navy is active many more times than Iran in international waters. Pakistan’s naval presence in international waters, unlike Iran, does not elicit negative response and propaganda from Western countries.
The Islamic Republic of Iran maintains that its military doctrine is based on deterrence and therefore the country’s military power poses no threat to other countries.
Iran’s navy maintaining international peace and security
Therefore the presence of the country’s naval forces in international waters is meant to gain experience while maintaining maritime security similar to activities of other naval forces.
Indeed, Iran’s naval forces do not just protect this country’s merchant ships and tankers but have on many occasion managed to foil several attacks on foreign tankers and ships during its missions in international waters. For instance, Iran’s navy has rescued several Chinese ships from pirate attacks and Beijing has officially expressed gratitude in this regard. Indeed Iran’s naval presence in international waters has projected the country’s military power as one revolving around maintaining international peace and security.