Iran Navy to stage large-scale military drills in Indian Ocean
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Iran Navy to stage large-scale military drills in Indian Ocean

The Air Force along with the Navy will hold the military maneuvers, Rear Admiral Touraj Hassani-Moqaddam told IRNA on Thursday. The exercises are to be held in an area extending from the Makran Coast in southeastern Iran to “the Indian Ocean ... towards the end of [the Iranian calendar month of] Bahman (which ends on February 19),” he added. “The Navy’s state-of-the-art armaments and equipment will be deployed during the large-scale exercises,” including naval vessels, submersibles, surface-to-sea missiles, drones, and electronic warfare equipment, said the official. Noting that the drills are also to be joined by marine brigades and naval commando units, the military commander added, “In these exercises, we will display the Islamic Republic’s power in the region with the aim of establishing security.” Hassani-Moqaddam further said, “In order to contribute to international maritime security and reinforce the country’s diplomacy, Iranian naval vessels stay invariably alert and in addition to carrying out surveillance missions, are ready to engage [in any possible confrontation] if necessary,” he added. Prior to the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, the Iranian Navy only sailed in the Persian Gulf waters, but now it maintains a “powerful presence” in the high seas, said the official. The Navy carries out recurrent military maneuvers and maritime security missions in the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Aden, and the Suez Canal, the commander noted. The Iranian Navy sailed in the Atlantic Ocean in November 2016 for the first time, with then Navy commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari saying that the development followed a port call in South Africa by the Iranian fleet. “For the first time, the 44th flotilla of the Iranian Navy, consisting of the Alvand destroyer and the Bushehr [logistic vessel], succeeded in circling the African continent and have sailed into the Atlantic Ocean,” Sayyari added. Last month, the Navy said it was to dispatch a flotilla, including Sahand, its most advanced destroyer with radar-evasion properties, to the Atlantic Ocean on a five-month mission.

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