Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says the Islamic Republic will hold a major naval drill, dubbed Velayat 91, in the near future to display its might and deterrence power. Sayyari said on Wednesday that the drill is scheduled to be held in the tenth month of the Iranian calendar (which begins on December 21, 2012 and ends on January 20, 2013). Sayyari, however, did not provide further details on the drill. The top commander also said that Iran’s Navy has planned to send a fleet of warships to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean to display its power. Iran's Navy launched the massive 10-day Velayat 90 naval exercise on December 24, 2011 to display the Islamic Republic’s defensive capabilities and to convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries. The drill covered an area stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden. Apart from military tactics, different domestically-built pieces of equipment were also tested in the drill.
Over the past few years, Iran has held several military drills to enhance the defense capabilities of its armed forces and to test modern military tactics and equipment.Iran's Navy has also been increasing its naval presence in the international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for Iranian merchant vessels and tankers. In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting patrols in the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to safeguard merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries. AR/PKH/HJL