The commander of the Iranian Navy announced today that the country will unveil new home-made vessels and a missile launching warship, Fars News Agency reported. "New equipment, including surface and subsurface vessels units, and other equipment made in the country will be unveiled in the Northern and Southern parts (waters) of the country," Rear Admiral Sayyari said, addressing a ceremony in the Northern port city of Bandar Anzali. He added that Separ, a new missile-launching warship, will soon join the country’s Northern fleet. The Iranian Navy commander also revealed that his forces will stage drills in the country’s southeastern Makran coast in the near future. "The strategic Navy of the Army annually stages numerous specialized drills, over 25 wargames, in different fields, and therefore, the specialized electronic warfare drills will be held by the Southern fleet and off Makran coasts in the next few days," he said.

On Sunday, Sayyari also unveiled his plan to dispatch naval fleets to the west of the Atlantic Ocean. Speaking to a gathering of Iranian naval commanders, he boasted about Iran’s growing presence in international waters, and added that foreign military officials did not expect the Islamic Republic’s naval forces to reach the Atlantic Ocean. No one saw it likely that Iranian forces could sail around Africa or go to the Suez Canal, but they proved to be capable of doing it, he added. “(In a program aired) on CNN, they (Americans) drew a line from Bandar Abbas to the Atlantic and said Iran by no means is capable of entering the ocean and passing through it, but we arrived in the Atlantic, and we will go to the west of the ocean in the near future,” Sayyari continued.

Comment: The Islamic Republic has in recent years made it a priority to develop its naval capabilities, although its leaders often exaggerate the country’s progress in building advanced naval assets and expanding its naval forces’ presence in international waters.

In April, Sayyari announced that the Navy planned to renew the presence of its forces in the Atlantic Ocean in the current Iranian year, which began on March 21. He said the Navy also planned to further develop Karan coasts in the southeast of Iran and ensure Iran’s intelligence superiority in regional and international waters. The commander added that the Navy will produce new military vessels this year, and revealed that the Iranian naval forces were making efforts to expand its presence and boost security in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, and the Bab al-Mandeb.

Last year, the Iranian chief of staff of the armed forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, sent shockwaves through the region by calling for Iranian naval bases in Yemen and Syria.

Iran’s regularly Navy is separate from the naval forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.). According to U.S. officials, it is the I.R.G.C. Navy that usually engages in “unprofessional” and “irresponsible” actions in the Gulf region and repeatedly harasses U.S. warships stationed there.

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