Iran's plan to militarize Caspian Sea may have serious consequences, expert says [COMMENTARY]
Iran introduced a new home-grown Deylaman destroyer in its Nothern (Caspian) fleet that many believe it could pave the way for the arming of the region. It says the destroyer weighs 1,500 tons, it was built by the Marine Industries Organization affiliated with the Iranian Defense Ministry, and it is equipped with various types of homegrown defense systems and gears. It is worth noting that the Caspian Sea is a closed basin and it is free of terrorism and terrorist organizations. At a time when all littoral countries are talking about disarmament, such a move by Iran is incomprehensible.
In a comment on the issue for Azernews, the military expert Adalet Verdiyev noted that at a time when two US aircraft carriers with large military potential are entering the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz, it is not considered a logical step to strengthen Iran's existing naval fleet in the Caspian Sea. He said that in other words, there is currently no danger for Iran from the Caspian Sea, and the threats that exist for Iran are definitely not related to the states located in the Caspian basin. Besides, the pundit added that the experience of the Iranian Navy is not so big.
“During 1980-1988, the Iranian Navy participated in operations against Iraq on a limited scale. After that, the operations of the Iranian navy usually took place in the waters of the Persian and Oman Gulf, which were limited-scale operations. Besides, they conducted again limited operations against pirates in Somalia,” Adalet Verdiyev said.
He also stressed that the entire defense industry of Iran is carried out in a form of plagiarism, usually based on projects obtained as a result of industrial espionage from other countries. The Deylaman destroyer will, of course, increase Iran's capabilities in rescue operations to a certain extent and will also have a positive effect on the navy's combat readiness. However, it is very important to equip the ship with modern systems.
“The ship has a speed of 26 knots and the anti-aircraft artillery complex and rocket launchers can be seen on the ship. The firing range of Iran's main anti-aircraft weapons is 2 km. So this is a fairly short distance. However, if the launchers of the missiles are equipped with Qadr missiles, their firing range can increase up to 300 km. Radar systems are also observed on the ship, with the help of which it is possible to detect surface and underwater targets. This detection distance does not exceed 200 km in the most advanced radar stations in Iran,” Adalet Verdiyev noted.
Besides, the former military serviceman does not think that the deployment of a new destroyer dubbed Deylaman to the existing Iranian fleet in the Caspian Sea will radically change the existing balance of forces here. According to him, it is impossible to change the balance of power in Iran with a single ship.
“However, of course, the Caspian littoral countries will definitely take adequate measures against these steps of Iran. Iran, which does not want to see warships or other military equipment of other countries around it, declaring the Caspian Sea open for armament will lead to the increase of warships of other countries in the Caspian and as a result, the rapid armament of the region, which is not in Iran's own interests,” the expert.
Qabil Ashirov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @g_Ashirov
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