Iran sets foot in backyard of the U.S.

September 13, 2021 - 21:18

TEHRAN - Now, with a serious test of Iran's naval capability for a long-term mission in distant waters, Iran has set its feet in the backyard of the Americans in the North Atlantic Ocean or any other body of water in the world.

The 75th Naval Fleet of the Army, consisting of Makran big ship and Sahand destroyer, finally entered the territorial waters of Iran in the past few days after 133 days of navigation and 44,000 kilometers of sea route in the most unprecedented mission in the history of Navy of Iran's Army and docked in Bander Abbas, Fars reported on Sunday. 

What sets this mission distinct from its previous seventy-four missions is not only the long, without docking journey along the route, but also Iran's first presence in the North Atlantic, which has always been considered the backyard of the United States, Britain and France.

The beginning of the adventurous mission of the 75th Fleet dates back to May 2. The Makran warship and the Sahand destroyer, both of which among Iran's indigenous defense achievements, are embarking on a mission that have been under the scrutiny of Western countries and international security analysts from the very beginning.

At the beginning of the fleet's journey, the Western media, citing satellite images that showed several speedboats on the deck of the Makran warship, concluded that the fleet's destination would be Venezuela and that Iran intends to provide these high-speed missile launchers to Venezuela to challenge the U.S. Navy in the Caribbean. This goes so far that the Politico website quotes three informed American sources as saying "the U.S. national security community is monitoring two Iranian naval vessels whose ultimate destination may be Venezuela. U.S. officials do not know for sure the destination of the Iranian ships, these officials said, but believe they may be ultimately headed for Venezuela."

Politico, however, goes on to acknowledge that the presence of Iranian warships in the U.S. backyard is a challenge to U.S. hegemony in the region.

Makran navigator in the North Atlantic Ocean

Shortly afterwards, on June 10, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austen, in response to a question from Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal in a hearing in Congress, expressed concern about the presence of two Iranian warships that, according to some reports, may be heading to Venezuela. "I am deeply concerned about the proliferation of weapons of any kind in the American neighborhood."

Such analyses continue in Western circles, and they are every day proposing Venezuela as the destination of this fleet, unaware that the main destination of Sahand and Makran is somewhere else! However, on June 21, Admiral Amir Sayyari, the Deputy Chief of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran for Coordination Affairs, held a press conference and, without mentioning the destination of the fleet, announced that Sahand and Makran are now in the Atlantic Ocean and will sail to the North Atlantic.

With this announcement, the Westerners realized that they had been confused about the destination of this fleet so far, but this confusion persisted, because they continued to state other destinations for the fleet, including Lebanon and Syria, which again showed their ignorance of the destination of the fleet.

Finally, in the mid days of July, Sahand and Makran, sailing in the North Atlantic, sailed to the English Channel (the waterway between Britain and France), at which point the Westerners discovered the destination of the fleet, which is the port of St. Petersburg, Russia. 

In September 2020, Russia invited Iran to participate in a naval parade marking the 125th anniversary of the founding of its navy; in February, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces agreed to send the 75th Naval Fleet to St. Petersburg, after which preparations for were made for the mission, and finally on May 2 the Sahand and Makran sailing began.

With the start of the Fleet 75 mission on the above date, the fleet arrived in the port of St. Petersburg on the July 25, and the Sahand destroyer proudly participated in the naval parade on the anniversary of the founding of the Russian navy. The event was attended by three foreign countries: Iran, India and Pakistan.

Why is the 75th Fleet mission historic and important?

For long-haul journeys, flotilla units usually have to dock at ports in order to meet their needs, while in the 75th Fleet mission, due to U.S. sanctions and the imposition of its will on African countries, it was impossible to provide support and mooring services in their ports.

Last year, however, a capacity called the Makran big ship was created in the Navy, which made it unnecessary to dock at any port for long-term navigation. The Makran big ship is in fact a mobile and multi-purpose naval base that meets a wide range of operational and intelligence needs in the field of electronics, UAVs, missiles and helicopters and supports a variety of ships and vessels with long-term durability in the seas and oceans.

Only three countries in the world, the United States, China and Iran, have such a ship as Makran big ship, and today the navy will be able to be present in any part of the world using the Makran.

Dangerous route and epic of Sahand in most violent waters of world

The route taken by the Navy's 75th Fleet, especially in the Cape of Good Hope and the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the most violent water areas in the world due to ocean currents, including the Gulf Stream, and sea power is usually high in these areas, which can be dangerous for many ships.

In general, the Cape of Good Hope and the Atlantic Ocean are known as ship cemeteries in the maritime terms because of these characteristics, as the harsh conditions of this body of water have sent many ships of lower tonnage to the bottom of the sea. It is even worth mentioning that most of the maritime industries operating in the African countries of the Atlantic are involved in the reconstruction of shipwrecks in these areas.

Naturally, crossing such a waterway is not a major challenge for the Makran big ship due to its high tonnage (121,000 tons), but for the native Sahand destroyer weighing 1,300 tons, crossing the roaring waves in very unfavorable Atlantic conditions is a record and unprecedented challenge which Sahand was able to defy this challenge proudly.

Crossing American threats!

In addition to the natural challenges facing the 75th Fleet, there was a perceived threat to the fleet: maritime terrorism and machinations of the United States.
Of course, the fleet did not face any threat of maritime terrorism during the mission, but the godfather of terrorists, namely the U.S. Army, tried to identify and obtain information from the fleet on three occasions. In all three cases, Sahand and Makran, using electronic warfare equipment, prevented the United States from carrying out its intended activities.

The Seahawk helicopter, the RQ-4 drone and the P-8 reconnaissance and patrol aircraft were the three American aircraft that tried to obtain information from the fleet during the mission.

Attending the backyard of America

The North Atlantic region has long been the backyard of the United States, Britain, and France because other countries have either not wanted to or have not been able to navigate in the body of water in that size.

However, by being present in this important region of the world, the 75th Fleet disrupted the privacy of these countries and showed that it will be able to be present not only in the Atlantic, but also in any other sea, point and ocean. In fact, the passage of Sahand and Makran through critical waterways such as the English Channel, the Dover Strait, the Bay of Biscay, the Skagerrak Strait, the Great Belt Canal, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, etc. is the most valuable achievement of this historic mission before the eyes of countries that did not think that a warship from the Iranian navy could one day reach their nearest territorial waters.

Of course Sahand and Makran, on their way back, crossed the Mediterranean Sea, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, etc. These areas have been the scene of serious terrorist attacks in recent years, especially in recent months and this passage has its own messages for the Zionist regime.

But this presence in the backyard of the United States and Britain has another significant aspect: Sahand.

The Sahand destroyer, the third destroyer in Moj (wave)-class produced in the Navy's factories, takes its name from another destroyer of the same name that was purchased from Britain before the revolution; Sahand played an effective role in defending the waters of the Persian Gulf during the Holy Defense in the 1980s until in 1988, during a direct confrontation with the United States, the ship was attacked by several American fighter jets and despite the courage and perseverance of its staff, it eventually drowned in the Persian Gulf due to several big explosions.

30 years later, in 2018, the Navy named its Moj class after the Sahand ship in April 1988 with the same name. Sahand's deployment to the Atlantic mission was, in fact, to show its resurrection to those who one day sold the first Sahand to Iran and then drowned it, but saw that the Iranians could build the Sahands themselves.

Now, with this presence, the Islamic Republic of Iran has in fact seriously tested its operational-support capability for its presence in distant waters. The Makran big ship, which is the huge naval capacity of the army to support these missions and is able to sail three rounds of the earth without mooring once with one refueling, will be sent to such a mission only 4 months after joining the fleet of the Iranian Navy and proves that it can support any mission.