Iran builds naval power
Iran is trying to implement some of the Shah’s plans for building a blue-water navy with Oman as an important mooring facility.
As Iran builds naval power, it looks to Oman as the big prize
Written by : Amir Taheri
London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Early last month, Rear Admiral Habiballah Sayyari, the Commander of Iranian Navy, visited Russia at the head of a top-level delegation that included the navy’s Technical Commander Rear Admiral Abbas Zamani. Ostensibly, the group had come to visit the International Maritime Defense Exhibition in Moscow. However, as Russian and Iranian sources reported later, the Iranian delegation had also brought “an impressive shopping list” for Russian hardware and software. Determined to press its claim as “the regional superpower”, the Islamic Republic has decided to develop its maritime units into a full-fledged blue-water navy.
Three events have spurred the Iranian program for projection of power. The first is US President Barack Obama’s declared intention to drawdown and eventually conclude American military presence in the Middle East. If Obama’s policies are continued by his successor, the US would leave a huge gap to be filled in the region. The Islamic Republic hopes to fill it.
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