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News number: 9106061780

09:28 | 2012-09-05

Defence

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Iran Reiterates Resolve to Anchor Off US Coasts

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari reiterated Iran's plans for sailing off the US coasts to counter the US presence in its waters in the Persian Gulf.



Sayyari had earlier informed of Tehran's plans to send its naval forces to the Atlantic to deploy along the US marine borders, and now he said that this will happen "in the next few years".

The plan is part of Iran's response to Washington's beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf. The US Navy's 5th fleet is based in Bahrain - across the Persian Gulf from Iran - and the US plans maritime war games later this month.

Last September, Sayyari announced that the country plans to move vessels into the Atlantic Ocean to start a naval buildup "near maritime borders of the United States".

"Like the arrogant powers that are present near our marine borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to the American marine borders," Sayyari said.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 31st anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, Sayyari gave no details of when such a deployment could happen or the number or type of vessels to be used.

Sayyari had first announced in July, 2011 that Iran was going to send "a flotilla into the Atlantic".

The remarks came as another high-ranking Iranian military official rejected a US request to establish a "red phone" link between the countries in the Persian Gulf last year.

"We would establish direct contact with the United States if we would ever go to the Gulf of Mexico," Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Ali Fadavi said last July.

He rejected the US demand, and explained, "In the view of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the presence of the US in the Persian Gulf is illegitimate and makes no sense."

The Iranian navy has been developing its presence in international waters since two years ago, regularly launching vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates operating in the area.

Iran also sent two ships into the Mediterranean for the first time in February, 2011 via the Suez Canal, to the annoyance of Israel and the United States.

A few months later in July, Sayyari announced that an Iranian submarine had completed an inaugural mission in the Southern Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.