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Iran’s participation in Russia parade signals deepening of relations

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)
Russian navy warships sail during the parade of the Russian fleet as part of the Navy Day celebration, in Saint Petersburg, on July 25, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, Iran’s Navy commander, says participation of the Iranian naval fleet in Russia’s parade is a sign of deepening relations between the two countries.

Khanzadi made the remarks on Monday in a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, in Moscow.

“The participation of Iranian navy ships in Russia's Navy Day parade in Saint Petersburg is a sign of further expansion of cooperation between Tehran and Moscow,” Khanzadi was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.

“When military cooperation is promoted to this level, it plays a role because it determines the global situation.”

Khanzadi said the Iranian Navy ships, which included Sahand destroyer and Makran port ship, did not call even in a single port along their way in international waters, and headed straight for Russia.

Yevmenov, for his part, said the crew of the Iranian ships showed they fully enjoyed combat readiness and could operate anywhere in the oceans at any moment.

The Russian commander invited the Iranian Navy to attend various ceremonies in his country.

Khanzadi had earlier hailed as “a historic event" the presence of Iranian Navy destroyer Sahand and accompanying support vessel Makran in the parade in the Gulf of Finland and St. Petersburg waters.

“In this long voyage, these ships entered the world’s strategic areas, which is unprecedented,” he 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 massive Russian naval parade on Sunday was held on the occasion of the 325th anniversary of the founding of the Russian navy on the Nova River, which flows through the city of St. Petersburg.

Attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the parade displayed 54 warships, including frigates, destroyers, missile launchers, nuclear and diesel submarines, as well as 48 fighter jets, bombers and attack and reconnaissance helicopters.        

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