Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Rear Admiral Shahram Irani says production of domestically-developed heavy battle cruisers as well as formation of naval task groups consisting of eleven vessels for overseas missions in international waters are among the top priorities of his force.
Addressing a meeting on naval missions held in the capital Tehran on Monday, Irani stated that the Iranian Navy has greatly developed its maritime capabilities, and its operational power is not confined to a specific region anymore as Iranian servicemen can sail through high seas in any part of the world.
“The fact that we can access anywhere in international waters proves that the strategic depth of our forces has increased dramatically. Our Navy as cited by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] – the commander-in-chief of the Iranian Armed Forces, is a strategic force and is on the defensive end of the Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces,” he pointed out.
Irani highlighted that the Iranian Navy pays special attention to local elites, and employs the capacities of domestic knowledge-based companies.
The high-ranking Iranian military official went on to note that the production of homegrown heavy battle cruisers has been put on the agenda of the Navy in accordance with a road map outlined by Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Iranian Navy has focused its activities on the 10th parallel north and the Red Sea, the commander said, adding that the Iranian Navy units escort the country’s trade vessels and oil tankers in the Red Sea and the Strait of Hormuz.
Irani stated that formation of naval divisions carrying drones, development of reconnaissance vessels and electronic warfare warships, enhancement of battle capabilities, as well as renovation of the battle groups and promotion of their agility are on the agenda of the Iranian Navy.
Last month, the navy chief said the country’s naval forces were roaming free waters of the world without any problem, adding that no foreign country would ever dare approach the Islamic Republic’s territorial waters.
Irani made the remarks in an interview with the Arabic-language al-Alam television news network on April 21 as he was elaborating on the latest developments and defense achievements of the country in addition to the Islamic Republic’s maritime capabilities.
“Nowadays, the northern Indian Ocean is a main waterway to connect the continents. If we do not have an effective presence, governments without a right will come [to the region] and approach our territorial waters. However, owing to the authority and presence of our fleet in high seas and [their] constant monitoring, we do not have any problems and no country dares approach our country’s waters,” Irani said.
“The geometry of power in the world is changing ... and various players are at work,” the navy commander said.
“Given our capabilities, we can have an effective presence in all maritime environments of the world whenever the Commander-in-Chief [of the Iranian Armed Forces] orders us to do so,” Irani said, referring to Ayatollah Khamenei.