Iran naval prowess 'best in the region'
Press TV – December 3, 2008
Iran has pushed back the frontiers of naval capabilities to become the decisive maritime force in the region, says a top commander.
Iranian navy chief Habibollah Sayyari said Wednesday that the Islamic Republic takes great pride in its recent achievements in naval research and technology.
"Iran is proud to say that it houses the most powerful naval force in the entire region. The country's naval breakthrough has made unforeseeable progress," said Admiral Sayyari.
According to the Iranian commander, Iranian naval forces have taken their maritime capabilities to the next level in an effort to maintain the sovereignty and integrity of the country's coastal waters.
"Iran has so far developed a number of 'exclusive' equipment such as high-speed missile boats, vessels, lightweight aircrafts and stealth micro submarines in a bid to increase maritime capabilities in deep-sea operations," said the Iranian Navy Chief.
Iranian naval forces successfully completed the second stage of the six-day 'Unity 87' naval maneuvers in the Sea of Oman.
Iranian Deputy Naval Chief Qasem Rostamabadi said Wednesday that the naval drills, -- which include both psychological and tactical operations against hypothetical enemy units -- provide a glimpse into Iranian advancements.
"In the second stage of 'Unity 87', Iran's domestically-built missile-equipped battleships, submarines, special-operations teams, helicopters, and fighter jets successfully dismantled hypothetical enemy units," said Admiral Rostamabadi.
The naval maneuvers come at a time when Israel is increasing military preparations for a strike on the Iranian nuclear infrastructure.
Tehran has repeatedly warned that if Tel Aviv attacks Iran, a recently-inaugurated base in the port of Jask, however, would be used to block the strategic Strait of Hormuz -- through which 40 percent of the world's sea-transited crude oil passes.
In a Sep. 11 report, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy said that in the two decades since the Iran-Iraq War, the Islamic Republic has excelled its naval capabilities and is able to wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces.
According to the report, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy (IRGCN) has been transformed into a highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-financed force and is effectively in control of the world's oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz.
The study says that if Washington takes military action against the Islamic Republic, the scale of Iran's response would likely be proportional to the scale of the damage inflicted on Iranian assets.
Last updated 06/12/2008