Iran is in the final stages of deploying a “fleet of warships” to patrol the Atlantic Ocean, according to the man in charge of Tehran’s Navy, reported the state-run Fars News Agency on Thursday.
Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, who serves as commander of the regime’s Navy, addressed a welcoming ceremony for Iranian warships returning from the Caspian Sea and a Russian port, stating: “Our warships will soon berth at ports in the Atlantic Ocean.”
“The presence of Iranian warships in international ports show the Iranian Navy’s prowess,” the commander added.
“The Iranian fleet of warships comprising Joshan (Shield) and Peykan (Arrow) warships and the hi-tech Damavand destroyer which embarked on a 12-day voyage in the Caspian Sea on October 18 and after conducting joint naval drills with the Russian Navy and berthing at Russia’s Astrakhan port returned home today,” the Admiral told another state-run news service in detailing the warships’ journeys.
The Iranian ships’ native voyage to Russian ports was due to scheduled joint wargames with Moscow, the report states.
However, there is reason to believe that the commander’s assertion is more bluster than actual truth.
The Times of Israel notes that this is not the first time the Iranian commander has made such a pledge. In 2014, Sayyari said Iran was readying to move some of its ships closer to America’s maritime borders, but canceled the order “due to a change of schedule.”
In 2012, Sayyari claimed that the Iranian Navy has the capability to “hoist Iran’s flag in different regions from the North Pole to the South Pole.”
Iran’s continuing provocative action comes just a few months after an Iranian warship pointed its weapons at a U.S. military helicopter in the Gulf of Aden. Characterizing the event as “unsafe and unprofessional,” U.S. officials suspected at the time that Tehran was making an anti-U.S. propaganda film with footage of the incident.
In April, Sayyari told state-run IRNA that the Iranian Navy was readying the deployment of a new home-produced submarine.
A recent report by the Institute for the Study of War has warned Iran’s maritime “strategic ambition is expanding.”
“The totality of evidence indicates that Iranian maritime activity in support of the Iranian strategic objective of regional power and influence is evolving and expanding, not contracting,” the report stated.