Iranian New Year Move

The Iranian Navy has announced new plans to expand its operational zone far beyond the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman as a new Iranian year beckons, according to Commander of Iran’s Navy Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari.

“The area of operation of the Army’s Navy will be expanded in 1390 [the next Iranian year which starts on March],” Sayyari said.

“We will find control over more waterways through dispatching fleets of warships of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy to the regions outside the Persian Gulf,” the commander stressed.

He added that the move would both expand the Navy’s operation zone and pave the ground for halting pirate attacks on Iranian tankers and trade vessels.

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.

Last Saturday, Sayyari praised an Iranian flotilla of warships dispatched to the Mediterranean Sea and the Syrian coasts for their success in accomplishing their long-term mission, and announced that the Navy will continue similar missions in future.

Speaking to reporters about the achievements gained by the flotilla during its recent mission to Syria, Sayyari told reporters, “Deployment of fleet of warships to other countries will be continued as we are trying to confront and defuse the (West’s) Iranophobia” propaganda.

Two Iranian military vessels, Khark and Alvand, docked in Syria last week for training amid attempts by the United States and Israel to brand the mission as a cause for concern.

The 1,500-ton patrol frigate Alvand is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, while the larger 33,000-ton supply vessel Khark has 250 crewmembers and can carry three helicopters.

Iran in early February announced that it plans to dispatch its first home-made destroyer, ‘Jamaran’, to missions outside the country’s territorial waters.

The Iranian Navy commanders said that presence of the Iranian fleet of warships in the high seas and international waters is of paramount importance to Tehran as it indicates the country’s might and power.

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