An Iranian naval flotilla, comprising Sabalan destroyer, Lavan logistic warship and helicopter carrier, SH3D helicopter and Falakhan missile-equipped warships, left Iran for Oman on Saturday to take part in the drills, the commander of Iran's First Naval Zone, Rear Admiral Hossein Azad, said.
He added that it was imperative to improve security in Iran’s southern waters and the Indian Ocean given their geographical significance in maritime economy and busy traffic of ships and oil tankers.
“The naval forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the neighboring country of Oman will draw plans and stage joint maneuvers to this effect,” Azad said.
Iran and Oman have so far held several naval relief and rescue drills aimed at enhancing readiness for providing relief services, conducting rescue operations, improving the level of regional cooperation and exchanging experience.
Iran Navy dispatches fleet to Kazakhstan for 1st time
The Iranian Navy also on Saturday dispatched a flotilla to the Kazakh port city of Aktau for the first time, the commander of Iran's fleet of warships in the northern province of Gilan, Admiral Ahmadreza Baqeri, said.
The ‘Peace and Friendship’ flotilla consists of Damavand destroyer and Peykan missile-launcher destroyer and plans to stay in Kazakhstan for three days, he added.
He emphasized that the fleet would convey Iran’s message of peace and friendship.
The Iranian naval personnel and commanders on board the fleet are scheduled to visit Kazakhstan’s military and historical sites and hold talks with the country’s naval officials.
In recent years, the Iranian Navy has increased its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has been also conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 in order to safeguard merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.
Iran’s Navy has managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tanker ships during its missions in international waters.