Navy commander: Iran monitoring foreign forces  movements in regional waters

Tehran, July 22, IRNA - Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Tuesday that all movements of extra-regional forces in the regional waters are being monitored.

Talking to a gathering of navy commanders in Bandar Anzali port city, he noted that the Islamic Republic seeks to strengthen its presence in international waters.

"Our presence in international waters is aimed at safeguarding the interests of the Islamic establishment and strengthening military power to defend Iran. So we will multiply our efforts to enhance our military might and have presence in international waters," Sayyari added.

He asserted that Iranians are peace-seeking people and never seek to get involved in conflicts with others.

The Iranian commander emphasized that Iran's Navy will definitely defend the country whenever necessary.

"We will do our utmost to safeguard the Islamic Republic’s interests in the north of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden and establish security for shipping lines," Sayyari pointed out.

Iran's Navy has been expanding its presence in the international waters since last year, deploying vessels to the Indian Ocean and around the Horn of Africa. It also dispatched two ships via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean for the first time in February 2011.

Moreover, in line with the international efforts to combat piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to protect vessels involved in maritime trade, especially the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.