Iran to hold naval drills in int’l waters within months

19 August 2013 13:21 (UTC+04:00)

By Sara Rajabova

Iran Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari has announced recently that Iran's naval forces are to hold massive drills in the second half of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2013), Press TV reported.

He informed that the naval maneuver, dubbed Velayat 92, will be staged in international waters and the surface, subsurface and aviation units of the Navy will take part in this exercise.

Sayyari underlined the significance of deploying naval forces to coastal areas in southeastern Iran, saying, "These coasts are highly important to us because they overlook high seas and the ocean."

However, he didn't specify the exact date of the exercises, and said it depends on the conditions and will be announced later.

Iranian commander also noted that the Iranian Navy has established a military base in Pasa Bandar region in southeastern Iran.

He said the Navy's bases in the east of the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman have been assigned the mission to regularly monitor Iran's territorial waters.

The Iranian Navy finished 6 days of massive naval exercises, codenamed Velayat 91, in the country's Southern waters in January.

The naval drills were carried out in the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, North of the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.

During the exercises, the Navy test-fired various types of long-range missiles from coasts and navy vessels.

Over the past few years, Iran has held several military drills to enhance the defense capabilities of its armed forces and to test modern military tactics and equipment.

Iran's Navy has been also increasing its naval presence in the international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for Iranian merchant vessels and tankers.

In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting patrols in the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to safeguard merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.