"The armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow enemy to flex muscles against Iran or its territorial waters,” Major General Baqeri said addressing the opening ceremony of a two-day naval drills, codenamed Eqtedar-e Daryayi 99, in a vast area spanning the southern Makran coastal strip on the Sea of Oman and north of the Indian Ocean, Mehr News Agency (MNA) reported.
He added that Iran will resume naval missions in the Red Sea, “in which our commercial vessels have recently been facing some threats.”
The top General underlined that the Islamic Republic’s Armed Forces will definitely ensure the full security of the country’s tankers and commercial ships in international waters.
He noted that the country's defensive might in the international waters is clearly visible now as “we see that Iran’s oil tankers and commercial vessels, despite all the threats, move to the furthest points, such as the Caribbean coast in Venezuela with full security and peace under the proud flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
In recent years, Iran’s naval forces have had a continuous presence in international waters including the Indian Ocean, the Bab al-Mandab Strait, and the Red Sea to secure naval routes and protect merchant vessels and oil tankers against pirates.
During the naval drills, the Iranian Navy also took delivery of the country’s largest-ever military vessel in the southern waters. The Navy received the homegrown Makran helicopter carrier, a logistics ship designed to support the missions in farther waters, such as the northern part of the Indian Ocean, the Bab al-Mandab Strait, and the Red Sea.
The forward base ship can carry 100,000 tons of fuel and fresh water and supply them to the naval vessels in various locations. The Iranian vessel is capable of making voyages for 1,000 days without a port call.
It can carry seven helicopters and can support the Navy’s missions in farther waters.