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Navy chief: Iran to stage combined drills with a dozen of naval powers by yearend

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani (Photo by Tasnim news agency)

A high-ranking Iranian military commander says the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy plans to hold joint naval exercises with foreign military forces in the northern tip of the Indian Ocean within the next few weeks.

Navy chief Rear Admiral Shahram Irani told IRIB news agency in the capital Tehran on Tuesday that the Iranian naval forces along with naval units from a dozen countries will stage a military exercise by the end of the current Iranian calendar, which concludes on March 19.

Commenting on Iran's missions in high seas, the commander noted that Iranian Navy units have been deployed in international waters since 2009 to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.

The Iranian Navy has been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea ever since, safeguarding the country’s interests in the strategic water bodies, Irani pointed out.

He further noted that Iranian naval units have been protecting naval routes and providing security for merchant vessels and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries, stating that Iran’s naval forces have on occasions responded to distress calls issued by foreign commercial ships.

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.

The Iranian naval forces have also staged military drills with different countries, including Russia, China and Pakistan, over the past years with the aim of promoting their combat readiness.

They have also been involved in joint efforts aimed at countering piracy and maritime terrorism, exchanging information in naval rescue and relief operations as well as sharing operational and tactical experience to enhance the security and stability of international maritime trade.

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