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Navy chief hails ‘historic’ presence of Iranian ships in Finland Gulf

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi (C) arrives in St. Petersburg on July 24, 2021, to attend the annual Russian naval parade.

Iran’s Navy chief Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi has described the sailing of Iranian ships to the Gulf of Finland, the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea, as “a historic event.”

He made the remark on Saturday upon arrival in St. Petersburg, where he is expected to attend the annual parade celebrating the Day of the Russian Navy.

Iranian Navy destroyer Sahand and accompanying support vessel Makran have already arrived in the Russian port city to join the parade.

Khanzadi said that the two Iranian ships, which began their voyage a few months ago, have now reached the Gulf of Finland and St. Petersburg waters.

“In this long voyage, these ships entered the world’s strategic areas, something that is unprecedented,” he added.

The Gulf of Finland extends between Finland to the north and Estonia to the south, and Saint Petersburg in Russia to the east, where the Neva River drains into it.

The presence of Sahand and Makran in the Gulf of Finland is “a historic event,” Khanzadi said. "This success means the opening of the gates of the North Sea and Finland to the fleet of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army.”

The Iranian Navy chief also said that during his trip, he would meet with high-ranking Russian military and defense officials as well as his counterparts from the countries participating in the Russian naval parade.

Khanzadi has traveled to Russia at the invitation of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

On Sunday, the Russian Navy will celebrate its 325th anniversary with the parade of “54 ships, including frigates from India, Iran and Pakistan, and more than 4,000 military personnel,” according to Shoigu.

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