Navy has dispatched 64 fleets to international waters, says Khanzadi

November 20, 2019

TEHRAN – Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi says the Navy has dispatched as many as 64 fleets to international waters in a bid to defend Iran’s interests.

“The Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army is the protector of the country’s territorial integrity and its interests in the seas; therefore, we have so far dispatched 64 fleets to international waters to defend the country’s interests,” Khanzadi said on Wednesday, Mehr reported.

“In addition to the fleets that made occasional voyages to the region in the past, there are two fleets, 63 and 64, which have a permanent presence in the Red Sea all the way to Suez Canal to provide security for our shipping lines,” the Navy chief explained.

Back in October, an Iranian oil tanker, called the Sabiti oil tanker, came under attacks by two missiles fired from an unknown location in the Red Sea.

The incident was the latest involving oil tankers in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf region, a vital waterway linking oil-producing countries to world markets.

Khanzadi said the Red Sea as an “insecure” body of water is a point of interest for the Navy.

“Due to the current special security conditions in the Red Sea region, and insecurities caused by terrorist activities that threaten our shipping lines, the Iranian Navy has been giving serious attention to this region as an insecure body of water,” he remarked.

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

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.

MH/PA

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