In a new warning to hostile naval forces of extra-regional countries, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani says there is no justification for their presence in regional waters and Iran does not accept such presence.
“Our message to non-regional, non-friendly countries is that enough power exists in our region, and there is no justification for their presence in the waters of this region,” Irani said on Saturday.
He added, however, that there is no problem if extra-regional countries come to the region in order to visit and exchange knowledge.
“But if they want to enter the field of security, we must say that today the Islamic Republic of Iran does not accept such a thing,” he cautioned.
Iranian commanders have repeatedly warned against the presence of hostile, extra-regional navies in the region, asserting that neither the region nor the countries that host them would become more secure by their presence.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rear Admiral Irani pointed to the latest maritime drills held by the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), saying the Iranian Navy’s fully-homegrown destroyer Dena had a powerful presence in the exercise.
He said the operational capability of the Iranian Navy was assessed during the exercise.
“Our goal was to prove ourselves and our country’s defense capability and to introduce the humanitarian culture of the Iranians and the ... Islamic Republic establishment to the world,” Irani said.
He explained that providing humanitarian aid was part of the exercise, adding, “We want to tell neighboring countries to be sure that the establishment of security in [regional waters], especially in the northern region of the Indian Ocean, can be done by ourselves, and we just need to get closer to each other and our hearts should come together.”
The IONS drills kicked off on March 29 off the Indian port city of Goa. The biennial drills featured 24 Indian Ocean littoral states.
According to Captain Farhad Fattahi, commander of the Iranian team, the country’s navy joined the event with the aim of partaking in training cooperation and exchanging experiences in the field of maritime practices.