Iran Plans to Expand Naval Build-Up to Far Seas, Including Yemen, Syria
Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:42
TEHRAN (FNA)- Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General
Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said Tehran might set up on or offshore military
bases in far waters, including the coasts of Yemen and Syria, in unspecified
“We need bases in distanced areas and perhaps we might one day come to have
bases on the coasts of Yemen or Syria or establish bases on islands or
offshore floating bases,” General Baqeri said, addressing a forum of Naval
commanders in Tehran on Saturday.
He also underlined the necessity for Iran to have a flotilla of warships
with the specific mission to protect Iran’s interests in the Indian Ocean
similar to its fleet in the Sea of Oman.
His remarks came as Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari
announced the country’s plans to expand naval presence in international
waters, and said a flotilla of warships has now been deployed in the
“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 last Monday.
“The two destroyers are now deployed in Durban Harbor (South Africa),” he
Noting that deployment of the 44th flotilla of warships in the international
waters indicates the Iranian Navy’s might and power, Admiral Sayyari said,
“In addition to that, 5 fleets of warships have also been sent to other
countries so far with a message of peace and friendship.”
Back in 2014, Admiral Sayyari had announced the country’s plans to deploy
troops in the Atlantic Ocean.
“The Iranian Navy will definitely be present in the Atlantic Ocean in the
near future,” Admiral Sayyari told reporters on the sidelines of his meeting
with foreign military attaches in Tehran at the time.
He noted that conducting reciprocal visits to other countries, including the
coastal countries of the Indian Ocean and the African countries, and
exchanging naval visits and voyages are among the Navy’s programs.
“We are ready to hold joint naval drills with the neighboring countries as
well,” Admiral Sayyari said.
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
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.