TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced the country’s plans to extend its naval presence in the international waters.
“The Islamic Republic’s Navy pursues a general goal which is presence in the world free waters to protect the resources and meet the interests of the Islamic Republic,” Sayyari said in the Southeastern city of Sirjan on Saturday afternoon.
We hope that we can extend our presence in free waters this year and take longer strides to protect the country’s interests,” he added.
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.
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