The chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces says the country’s 86th naval flotilla concluded its historic voyage on the high seas to mark an outstanding achievement despite Western-led sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri made the remarks on Sunday as he addressed the official homecoming ceremony of the flotilla in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.
He said the flotilla, comprising domestically-manufactured Dena destroyer and Makran forward base ship, is a source of pride for the Iranian nation and a landmark accomplishment in the history of the country’s naval missions.
“Maritime prowess is among the most significant factors of our country’s military might,” Baqeri said.
“We do not lack anything to achieve such an ideal, and are gifted with homegrown industries [and expertise] for that purpose. Our courageous commanders and marines undertake naval missions valiantly and fearlessly.”
The top general said the unprecedented move of the Iranian Navy in carrying out this difficult mission ushers in a new era for the Iranian Armed Forces, adding that, “The 86th flotilla of the Navy fulfilled a historic mission… Even major countries in the world do not have the courage to undertake such a [formidable] task.
He noted that the Iranian Navy, reliant on the Dena destroyer and Makran forward base ship, went on the mission at the peak of sanctions.
“Our forces sailed through a precarious route. Through faith, devotion and patriotism, our forces pulled off such an achievement,” the top general said, stressing that dignity can only be preserved through the path of power.
'Iran established its naval might in oceans, high seas'
Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Rear Admiral Shahram Irani also said his force, through its deployment to the high seas and conclusion of the lengthy naval mission, has established and expanded its strategic depth, foresight in maritime prowess, and regional identity and influence.
Irani said Iranian marines, under Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, managed for the first time ever to employ modern technologies and know-how to convey the message of peace and friendship.
The naval forces onboard Dena and Makran showed up on the high seas to declare that the Islamic Republic is impervious to isolation and sanctions, and it continues to tread the path of sustainable development through the promotion of interactions with world nations, the navy chief added.
Irani also said that Iranian marines pulled off a scientific, political and cultural achievement.
He argued that the great sailing mission of the Iranian Navy’s 86th flotilla also confirmed that the US-led liberal world order has been replaced by a multi-polar world order, with new alliances being formed and emerging powers beginning to display their might.
“Iran, with the discourse of resistance and mottos of peace and friendship, is passing through this transition period and properly placing itself in the new order. This is a sign of the waning power and hegemony of the US,” he remarked.
The 86th flotilla, which set sail from south of Iran in early autumn, returned home on Saturday after circumnavigating the world. It has officially broken the record for the distance an Iranian flotilla has sailed in international waters.
The flotilla’s return was hailed by top Iranian officials and commanders, including Ayatollah Khamenei who congratulated the “courageous forces of the 86th flotilla of warships of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army on their great and successful voyage.”