Iranian Navy exercises control over 20% of Caspian Sea

November 24, 2009 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- The Iranian Navy exercises control over the country’s twenty percent share of the Caspian Sea, the commander of the Navy said here on Monday.

Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told reporters at a press conference that the Caspian Sea is the sea of “peace and friendship” and the Navy does not plan to instigate a major military build-up in the Caspian Sea region.
He also said the Navy is carrying out an important mission in the Gulf of Aden to provide security for oil tankers sailing in the region.
There are strategic sea routes in that area and piracy is rife in the region, he noted.
Therefore, a special force, consisting of ships from 21 countries, was established under the command of the U.S. Fifth Fleet to tighten security in the area, and the force receives orders directly from NATO, Sayyari said.
Iran joined the group at the United Nations Security Council’s request and it has sent a number of warships to the area so far, he added.
However, the country’s warships act independently and receive orders from the Iranian Navy not from NATO, he explained.
The U.S. Fifth Fleet, working alongside U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, patrols an area of about 7.5 million square miles of sea off the coast of the Middle East and East Africa.
The area covers the coasts of 27 countries and includes the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman, and parts of the Indian Ocean, as well as the important shipping lanes of the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Aden, and the Suez Canal.
On Iran’s self-sufficiency in manufacturing naval equipment, he said the armed forces should use domestically manufactured military equipment in order to make it difficult for enemies to hit targets in the country.
Asked about potential threats to the country, he said Iran is closely monitoring every move of its enemies and will devise strategies based on the threats