Tehran, Iran (CBS DC) — The Iranian Navy announced a change of plans for its 29th flotilla of warships, with the Iranian Navy Commander calling back the naval group before it could start its voyage to the Atlantic Ocean.
Although not disclosing the cause for the Navy’s change of plans, Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced through the semi-state run Fars News Agency that the country now plans to send an additional fleet of warships to the Atlantic.
“The Navy’s 30th flotilla of warships which will be dispatched in the future will be comprised of the Islamic Republic’s Alvand destroyer, Bushehr logistic warship and a helicopter,” Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told FNA on Sunday.
Earlier this month, the 29th Fleet of the Iranian Navy docked at the Port of Djibouti, following through with the Islamic Republic’s plans to expand its naval presence across international waters. Sayyari had previously stated that the 29th Fleet moving into international waters to provide anti-piracy security for Iran’s shipping lines and merchant vessels.
“The Army’s fleet of warships is now in the Gulf of Aden and they are moving towards the Atlantic Ocean,” he stated in February, adding that Iran has the same right to international waters as any other country.
“All countries, including Iran, are entitled to the right to be present in the free waters, and we don’t seek to violate any country’s territorial waters,” Sayyari told FNA in Tehran.
The plans are part of Iran’s previously stated mission to send a “message” by deploying naval forces along the US marine borders to counter the presence of the American naval fleet in the Persian Gulf.
“The Iranian Army’s naval fleets have already started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via the waters near South Africa,” Commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad told FNA in February.
The admiral and commander of the Iranian Army’s 4th Naval Zone, said, “Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message.”
In September 2011, Sayyari announced the Iranian Navy’s plans for an Atlantic Ocean naval buildup “near maritime borders of the United States,” adding that, “Like the arrogant powers that are present near our maritime borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to the American marine borders.”