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Leader commends return of Iran's naval group from major mission

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)
Ayatollah Khamenei thanked the Iranian naval group in a message to Army chief General Abdolrahim Mousavi on Saturday.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei has congratulated the commander and service members of Iran's 75th naval group for accomplishing a historic mission through the Atlantic Ocean.

"I offer congratulations on the mighty and honorable return of the 75th naval group of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Army from the grave mission of navigating in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in the history of the country's seafaring," the Leader said in a message to Army chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi on Saturday.  

"Today, thank God, the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran is present on the scene with its insightful, fervent and tireless personnel and is ready to fight for the lofty goals of the glorious Islamic Revolution," he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei further called on the Iranian armed forces to maintain and upgrade their capabilities. 

The mission saw the Navy’s 75th naval group head out to the high seas, sailing 45,000 kilometers (24,000 nautical miles) along 55 countries in three continents.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Navy commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani emphasized in a press briefing that the country’s maritime strength and reach has grown to such a level that its naval forces can now sail to any point across international waters.

“Today, we can stage a powerful presence throughout all maritime expanses once the relevant decree is issued,” Irani said on Tuesday.

“Iran is the only country that provides for its own naval security,” he added, citing the recent conclusion of the historic naval mission.

According to the commander, the flotilla, featuring Iran’s most advanced indigenous destroyer Sahand and support vessel Makran, began the mission by sailing to the northern Indian Ocean.

From there, it traveled all the way to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, he added. Turning around the cape in the Atlantic Ocean, the mission then sought its way to the Russian port city, the commander said.

Irani noted that the operation served to send across the message of “peace and friendship” to all the countries that were met by the flotilla on its way.

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