Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, commander of the Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, said that his country plans to deploy a naval presence in the Atlantic Ocean sometime this year.
The Atlantic Ocean borders both North America and western Europe. Sayyari did not specify how close to the United States his ships would sail, though he said his navy would act "in accordance with international laws and regulations." So reports MNA, an Iranian news agency.
Speaking with reporters on Saturday, Sayyari emphasized the self-sufficiency of the Iranian Navy: "All equipment and facilities of the Navy are now home-produced, and in addition, Iran's Navy is also self-sufficient in education and human resources.” He stated that before the Islamic Revolution, Navy personnel studied abroad, while today, naval students from other countries come to Iran for training.
He pointed to the Caspian Sea, which borders northern Iran, as a sea of "peace and friendship" among five neighboring countries. “Caspian security should be provided by the five countries so that no foreign country would even desire a naval presence in the sea.” The Caspian Sea is also bordered by Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan.
Just five months ago, Iran and the United States experienced a maritime skirmish which led to a loss of face for the American side. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Navy Corps seized two U.S. Navy command boats after mistakenly entering Iranian territorial waters near Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. It took 15 hours before the ten captured American sailors were released, unharmed.