Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says the Iranian naval forces keep all movements of regional and trans-regional warships approaching the Persian Gulf under surveillance. “So far, we have not allowed anybody to approach our borders,” the Iranian commander said in a press conference on Monday.
Commenting on reports about the Navy’s upcoming drill, Sayyari said the next maneuver will be greater than Velayat 90 naval exercises which were held in 2011, noting that further details about the date and location of the drill would be announced by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces.On November 21, Sayyari had stated that the upcoming naval drill is scheduled to be held in the tenth month of the Iranian calendar year (which begins on December 21, 2012 and ends on January 19, 2013). Iran's Navy launched the massive 10-day Velayat 90 naval exercises on December 24, 2011, to display the Islamic Republic’s defensive capabilities and to convey 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. Referring to US officials' remarks about maintaining two airplane carriers in the Persian Gulf, Sayyari said, “They can have no claim to establishing security in the region because Iran can provide regional security on its own or with the help of its neighboring and friendly countries.” “Their presence has not led to security anywhere, including in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the Iranian commander added. 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. MYA/SF/SS/MA