A senior Iranian official has announced plans to deploy warships to “friendly states” in Latin America, by which he means a number of nations hostile to the United States.
Iran’s Fars news agency reported the news, covered by Israel National News, which has Iranian Army Commander Major General Ataollah Salehi declaring on Saturday: “We intend to take a longer stride in marine voyages and even go towards friendly states in Latin America. The Navy is capable of deploying in that region.”
This is consistent with Iran’s recent declaration that it plans to expand and upgrade its navy, including the development of high-speed missile boats, with a plan to “have a bigger presence in international waters,” as the lieutenant commander of the Iranian Navy put it.
Major General Salehi spoke to reporters from the port city of Bandar Abbas, at a ceremony to welcome the Iranian Navy’s 38th Fleet back from 75 days of international deployment.
“Iran’s strong and rapidly growing ties with Latin America have raised eyebrows in the US and its western allies since Tehran and Latin nations have forged an alliance against the imperialist and colonialist powers and are striving hard to reinvigorate their relations with the other independent countries which pursue a line of policy independent from the U.S.,” Fars editorialized while reporting Salehi’s remarks.
Israel National News notes that Iran has been “looking to expand ties with Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Mexico and Colombia.”
The Tasnim news agency quotes Salehi saying that Iran wanted to extend the range of its naval forces, display its naval prowess to the world, and firm up relations with allies in the Western Hemisphere by establishing a “mighty presence” in Latin America.
Tasnim noted that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “has also repeatedly emphasized the necessity for incessant progress of the Iranian Armed Forces irrespective of the political developments.”