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Iranian Navy 86th flotilla docks at Port of Cape Town in South Africa

The Iranian Navy’s 86th flotilla of warships docks at the Port of Cape Town in South Africa on March 31, 2023.

The Iranian Navy’s 86th flotilla of warships has docked at the Port of Cape Town in South Africa in line with the Islamic Republic's efforts to expand its naval presence in international waters.

The Iranian Navy’s flotilla, comprised of Dena and Makran warships, arrived at the port Friday morning and was welcomed by Iran's Ambassador to Pretoria Mehdi Aqa Jafari and local officials.

Addressing the ceremony, Aqa Jafari said the flotilla's travel aims to convey the Iranian nation's message of peace and friendship to the peoples of South Africa and all the African countries.

He hailed the strong presence of the Islamic Republic's strategic naval fleet in the Atlantic Ocean and South Africa's hosting of it and said the flotilla's mission would certainly play an important role in promoting global peace and stability and security of maritime connecting routes.

The Iranian diplomat noted that the visit indicates the high level of relations between the two countries and will greatly help to further strengthen cooperation between both sides' navies.

Late in January, Second-in-Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, Rear Admiral Hamzeh Ali Kaviani, said the country’s 86th flotilla of warships has raised the Iranian flag in the western waters of Latin America.

Kaviani added that the Iranian Navy’s flotillas also have a strong presence in the northern tip of the Indian Ocean.

Dena is a Mowj-class warship that joined the Iranian Navy in June 2021. The military vessel is reportedly equipped with anti-ship cruise missiles, torpedoes and naval cannons.

Makran is a forward base ship weighing 121,000 tons. The warship can carry five helicopters and is employed for providing logistical support for the combat warships.

The 86th flotilla is expected to break the record for the distance an Iranian flotilla has sailed in international waters. It set sail from the south of Iran in early autumn with the purpose of circumnavigating the world. Its trip to Brazil appears to be part of a mission to the Panama Canal.

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