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News number: 8708081600

20:02 | 2008-10-29

Defence

نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Iran Sets up New Naval Base near Persian Gulf

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran has opened a new naval base east of the Strait of Hormuz in a bid to boost its military control over the strategic Persian Gulf waters, Iranian navy chief said.



"With the opening of this naval base a new line of defense has been created east of the Strait of Hormuz," Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said.

"We can prevent the entry of any enemy naval units into the strategic Persian Gulf area if need be," he said, adding that the base was located in the port town of Jask on the Sea of Oman.

"The army needed new bases on the Sea of Oman given the presence of forces from outside the region in the waters around Iran," he added.

Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.

Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Speculation that Israel could bomb Iran has mounted since a big Israeli air drill in June. In the first week of June, 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters reportedly took part in an exercise over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece, which was interpreted as a dress rehearsal for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear installations.

Iran has, in return, warned that it would target Israel and its worldwide interests in case it comes under attack by the Tel Aviv.

The United States has also always stressed that military action is a main option for the White House to deter Iran's progress in the field of nuclear technology.

Iran has warned it could close the strategic Strait of Hormoz if it became the target of a military attack over its nuclear program.

Strait of Hormoz, the entrance to the strategic Persian Gulf waterway, is a major oil shipping route. An estimated 40 percent of the world's oil passes through the narrow channel between Iran and Oman.

Iran has displayed its military preparedness through staging frequent war games in the Persian Gulf, showing an array of home-produced weaponry including missiles capable of targeting vessels along the entire seaway.

Meantime, a recent study by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a prestigious American think tank, has found that a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities "is unlikely" to delay the country's program.