The commander of the Iranian Navy says enemies of the Islamic Republic are deeply concerned about the presence of the country’s naval fleet in the Atlantic Ocean.
Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony held on Monday during which domestically-built destroyer Dena and minehunter Shahin joined the Iranian Navy’s fleet.
“The presence of the naval fleet of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy in the Atlantic Ocean has greatly worried the enemies of the country,” Khanzadi said.
"This is while the presence of the strategic naval forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran is aimed at [promoting] cooperation with [littoral] countries in the Atlantic Ocean," he added.
The Iranian commander noted that the American media and the country's statesmen have been preoccupied over recent weeks with the arrival of an Iranian naval fleet, including the Makran port ship and the domestically-built Sahand destroyer, in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
Makran is a ship that has been manufactured to carry out long-distance operations in remote areas and has equipment enabling it to conduct missions anywhere, the Iranian Navy commander said.
Deputy Chief of Army for Coordination Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Thursday that the Iranian naval fleet has managed to reach the Atlantic Ocean without calling at other countries’ ports, marking the first time the Iranian navy has gotten this far into the Atlantic.
“We consider our presence in international waters an inalienable strategic right of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy and we will continue on this path with strength,” Sayyari added.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian Navy commander said as stipulated by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, "high seas belong to all nations and we are now sailing in high seas of the world and this is our first presence in the Atlantic Ocean."
The senior commander emphasized that the Iranian naval forces are bent on boosting friendly ties with other countries under the flag of the Islamic Republic.
"We do not need any port or coast to berth and enjoy necessary abilities and power for any kind of operations in that region," Khanzadi noted.