Sunday Jan 08, 201207:13 PM GMT
Iran scoffs at UK destroyer dispatch
Sun Jan 8, 2012 7:12PM
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The British Royal Navy has decided to dispatch its one-billion-pound Type 45 destroyer, HMS Daring, to Persian Gulf.
Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi has described as insignificant the dispatch of UK's sophisticated destroyer to the Persian Gulf.

British Ministry of Defense confirmed on Saturday that HMS Daring, a one-billion-pound Type 45 destroyer, would join the British presence in the region.

Last week, Iran wrapped up a massive 10-day Velayat 90 naval exercise, covering an area stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden.

During the drills Iran successfully test-fired a range of indigenous, state of the art medium- and long-range missiles, including the anti-radar surface to air Mehrab projectile, the surface-to-surface Nour (Light), and the coast-to-sea Qader (Capable) missile, with a range of 200 kilometers.

Iran maintains that the maneuvers are defensive in nature and convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries. Tehran has also extended a public invitation to regional states to conduct joint naval drills with Iranian forces.

Regarding the rescue of 13 Iranian nationals from Somali pirates near the entrance to the Persian Gulf by the US Navy, Vahidi added, “This measure does not legitimize the presence of the American forces in the Persian Gulf.”

According to the Pentagon, the destroyer USS Kidd, one of several warships escorting the carrier USS John C Stennis, rescued the fishermen on Thursday after receiving a distress call from the Iranian fishing vessel.

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