A flotilla of Iranian warships has left the country’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas for high seas on a routine mission to maintain the Islamic Republic’s power and safeguard its interests in international waters.
The 71st naval fleet, including Alborz destroyer and Kharg helicopter carrier, embarked on the voyage on Saturday in a ceremony attended by Commander of the Navy’s first zone Admiral Jafar Tazakkor.
Meantime, the 70th fleet of the Iranian Navy, comprised of Sabalan destroyer and Lavan logistic warship, returned to Bandar Abbas after completing its mission and establishing security for Iranian cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden and Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
Addressing a ceremony to welcome the arrival of the flotilla, Admiral Tazakkor said the Iranian fleets of warships have important responsibilities to monitor and identify foreign vessels in international waters to safeguard the country’s interests.
“We will not compromise our interests, and we don't take chances with any foreign country and force in the region or outside the region [on this issue.]. The security of our interests is our redline,” he said.
In recent years, Iran’s Navy has increased its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, safeguarding merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.
Iran’s Navy has managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its missions in international waters.
A senior Iranian commander said in October that the naval forces of Iran’s Army and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have formed a strong “defense chain” from the north of the Persian Gulf to the Northern Indian Ocean, which stands ready to respond to any threat and act of aggression against the country.
“We are telling the enemies that we will give a response to any threat against our country’s waters and interests,” Iran’s Deputy Navy Commander for Coordination Rear Admiral Hamzeh Ali Kaviani said.