April 26, The Iran Project – Last week the 6th Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS 2018) was held in Tehran attended by 35 high-profile military delegations from several countries including India, Turkey, and Australia.
During the 6th IONS, the Chief of Naval Staff of Bangladesh, Admiral Mohammad Nizamuddin Ahmed, handed over the presidency of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium to Iran in a symbolic gesture by giving a telescope to the Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi.
Bangladesh has been holding the IONS presidency from 2016 to 2018. Iran will now take over for the next two-year period.
As the largest military symposium in Iran’s history, IONS is composed of 23 permanent members including Iran, and several other countries with observer status such as France, South Africa and Singapore.
In a meantime, several high-ranking Iranian military officials including Chief of General Staff of Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bageri and Rear Admiral Khanzadi addressed the gathering.
Addressing the symposium, Commander Baqeri said Iran will never bow to the will and pressure of the US and its allies, and will continue to expand self-sufficient cooperation with neighboring countries.
Commander Baqeri also said the Indian Ocean countries are to hold a joint military exercise.
Speaking in the same gathering, Commander Khanzadi stated if responsibilities toward the seas are not fulfilled, the ground will be prepared for illegitimate presence of others.
He further stressed that maritime security of a region should only be ensured by countries of that region.
Eventually in the closing ceremony of the symposium on Tuesday (April 24), Rear-Admiral Khanzadi said that the aim of a meeting between navy commanders of the Caspian Sea is to prevent aliens presence in the area.
Moreover, several meetings were held between the top Iranian military officials and the high-ranking foreign commanders on the sidelines of the two-day gathering which held on April 23.
In a meeting between Pakistani Navy Commander Admiral Zafar Mahmoud Abbasi and Commander of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, the Iranian commander expressed joy with good interaction and cooperation between the two countries’ armed forces in line with their common interests, saying that since Iran and Pakistan are located in the same region, any insecurity will affect both of them.
Admiral Abbasi, for his part, appreciated Iran’s measures to safeguard regional waters security, noting that Iran and Pakistan have had good historic communications since the ancient times on the basis of Islam and Persian language.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces for international and foreign relations Brigadier General Qadir Nezami met with commander Royal Navy of Oman, Rear Admiral Abdullah bin Khamis bin Abdullah Al Raisi.
During the meeting, Nezami said Iran and Oman are playing regional and global roles in Strait of Hormuz.
Unfortunately, our region has become undisciplined and insecure where incidents are probable in any corner of the region, Nezami said, urging both sides to maintain cooperation.
Abdullah Al Raisi, in turn, appreciated Iran for holding IONS 2018 successfully.
Also, the Deputy Commander of Iranian Army for coordination Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari met with Pakistani Commander Mahmood Abbasi .
In the meeting, Commander Sayyari said Iran and Pakistan have historical and religious commonalities and both nations know each other very well.
Also, Mahmood Abbasi said Iran is an Islamic country and there are many commonalities between Iran and Pakistan.
IONS created a suitable opportunity for promoting ties, he added.
Commander Sayyari also met with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Admiral Hiroshi Yamamura and said Japan has a very sensitive position in Eastern Asia. Sayyari also expressed willingness to have cooperation with Japan at a different level.
Yamamura, for his part, expressed the hope for boosting military ties between the two countries.
He also emphasized developing interactions in fighting piracy in Gulf of Aden.