Iranian Navy sends 64th fleet of warships to int'l waters

October 29, 2019

TEHRAN – The 64th combat-reconnaissance flotilla of the Iranian Navy left the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on Tuesday for the high seas to safeguard maritime routes used by Iranian vessels in international waters. 

The new fleet, which left Iran's southern waters, consists of Alvand destroyer and a logistic warship named Bandar Abbas.

According to the Iranian army’s public relations, the Navy’s 63rd flotilla was simultaneously welcomed in a ceremony in Bandar Abbas. The ceremony was attended by Admiral Afshin Tashak, commander of the Southern Fleet's Moqaddam base.

The navy’s 63rd flotilla returned home after 100 days of voyage in international waters.

“One of the components of strengthening combat power is creating strategic depth. Such maritime missions will result in Iran’s growth of strategic depth,” Admiral Tashak said in the welcoming ceremony. 

Earlier this month, two separate explosions, caused by missile attacks, hit the SABITI oil tanker owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC). The vessel was struck 60 miles from the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

The explosions hit the vessel’s hull, causing heavy damages to the ship’s two main tanks, which resulted in an oil spill in the Red Sea. 

The missiles hit the right side of the tanker’s hull, creating holes measuring 50-to-150 centimeters.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on October 15 that “one or more countries” had directed or facilitated the attack.

Zarif also said the raid on SABITI was a “state-sponsored act”.

President Hassan Rouhani also told a press conference on October 14 that “what was clear was that a regime did it with a support of certain countries.”  

Rouhani also told a press conference on October 20 that Iran had found some clues about the attack on the vessel but investigations were underway until a final conclusion was reached.

MJ/PA
 

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