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Iran’s Navy welcomes home 94th flotilla after Red Sea mission

This undated file picture shows Alborz frigate of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy sailing in an undisclosed location.

The Iranian Navy’s 94th flotilla of warships has entered the territorial waters after a long mission in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

The Islamic Republic is expanding its naval presence in high seas amid tensions stoked by outsiders in the region.

The flotilla, led by Alborz frigate, entered the territorial waters of the Islamic Republic on Saturday, after sailing more than 12,000 kilometers of sea routes in 91 days.

During a welcoming ceremony in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, Rear Admiral Farhad Fattahi, deputy commander of the First Naval Region of Iran's Navy, hailed the presence of Iranian flotillas in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

The commander said the naval deployment is to safeguard Iran’s national interests and serves as a source of pride for the Iranian nation.

Captain Ali Khazaei, commander of the Iranian Navy’s 94th flotilla, said Iranian marines implemented the guidelines set out by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei concerning protection of Iran’s interests and assets in high seas, and hoisted the Islamic Republic’s flag in international waters.

Alborz frigate passed through the strategically crucial Bab el-Mandeb Strait and entered the Red Sea on January 1.

The Iranian Navy has dispatched Alvand destroyer to the Red Sea as part of the flotillas that take part in regular missions in international waters.

Iran’s Navy has in recent years achieved self-sufficiency in manufacturing surface and sub-surface vessels. It has also increased its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.

Ayatollah Khamenei said in August 2023 that the Navy's presence in remote waters such as the Pacific and Atlantic oceans contributes to national security.

“The United States and other superpowers monopolize general issues about mankind. If they could, those powers would even claim the seas in their name so that others would not have access to the natural resources.”

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