April 22, 2011 By

Iranian Warships ‘To Sail Close To US Maritime Border’

a_1Iranian warships would be sailing near the U.S Atlantic coast for the first time, senior naval spokesman Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad announced last week. Iran’s semi-official news agency, Fars News Agency (FNA), quoted the Admiral as saying that the move was a “response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf.”

The fleet started its voyage last month  on a three month mission and approached the Atlantic Ocean “via the waters near South Africa”, said Haddad, the commander of Iranian navy’s northern fleet. It consists of a destroyer and a helicopter-carrying supply ship along with around thirty navy academy cadets for training together with their regular crew. According to Fars the “message” Iran wishes to send, is that if the United States could increase its naval presence in the Persian Gulf, then Iran would stage a presence near the United States.

The US and its allies regularly hold naval exercises in the Gulf in order to preserve what it says are freedom of navigation in the waterway. The US Fifth Fleet, with about 5,000 personnel, is based in Bahrain, across the Gulf from Iran.

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