FNA- Deputy Commander of the Iranian Army Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced his country’s plan to dispatch warships to the international waters between Europe and the US.
“The Iranian Navy which was once only active in the Persian Gulf is today able to experience 5 months of voyage and is no more happy with reaching the 10-degree latitude as we believe that our goal should now be navigating in the free waters between Europe and the US, and this will come true in the near future,” Rear Admiral Sayyari, the former Iranian Navy commander, said on Wednesday.
Admiral Sayyarim, who was appointed by the Iranian leader as Deputy Commander of the Iranian Army for Coordination this week, added that the Iranian Naval forces are able not only to establish security in the country’s territorial waters but also deploy in international waters now.
In relevant remarks in April, Rear Admiral Sayyari announced the country’s plans to expand naval presence in international waters, and underlined the Iranian warships’ redeployment in the Atlantic Ocean.
“Redeployment in the Atlantic Ocean, intelligence superiority, development of communications, progress in the development of Makran coasts and building new vessels are among the Navy’s plans in the current (Iranian) year (started on March 21),” Sayyari said.
He also referred to the Iranian Navy’s powerful presence in the high seas, and said, “3,900 ships have been escorted by the Navy’s fleets of warships sent to the free waters.”
The Iranian Navy deployed a flotilla of warships in the Atlantic Ocean in November.
“For the first time, the 44th flotilla comprised of Alvand and Bushehr destroyers could sail around the African continent and enter the Atlantic Ocean,” Admiral Sayyari told reporters in Tehran at the time.
In recent years, Iran’s Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for trade vessels and tankers.
The Islamic Republic has repeatedly asserted that its overseas naval presence is meant to convey a message of peace and friendship to other countries.
Iranian officials and commanders have repeatedly underlined that all military exercises and trainings of the Iranian Armed Forces are merely meant to serve deterrent purposes.
The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.
According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.
The Gulf of Aden – which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea – is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West via the Suez Canal.