TEHRAN -- The commander of Iranian army’s navy, Real Admiral Hussein Khanzadi, said Sunday that the presence of Iran’s vessels in the Atlantic Ocean “is a response to U.S. claims that Iran would never be able to have a presence in the Atlantic.”
“Given that the African countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean have no navy and are considered no menace to the U.S., and the European countries pose no threat to the Americans, the presence of the Islamic Republic, which is based on fighting oppression, in the Atlantic Ocean is a cause of concern for the Americans,” he said.
The Americans, he said, are afraid of the presence naval fleet of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Atlantic Ocean, which is 5,000 miles away from them.
“This fear is due to the fact that Iran’s presence shatters the superiority of the United States,” he said.
Back in May, Politico said the U.S. national security community was closely watching two Iranian vessels - the Makran port ship and the domestically-built Sahand destroyer, which were heading south along the east coast of Africa.
Tehran said it is entitled under international law to sail through international waters, with Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh asserting that “no country can violate this right.”
According to Khanzadi, the Makran port ship has great potential for boosting the presence of Iran’s naval fleets in international waters, “because it is a moving seaport.”
“The Sahand destroyer has also sailed for 400 days since the day it was built, which shows that the youth of this country are well capable in the related sciences,” he said.
The Iranian Navy commander further said Iran is testing the capabilities of its Navy through the ships’ voyage toward the Atlantic.
The Iranian ships’ voyage across the Atlantic Ocean has been championed as a “significant step” for Iran’s Navy, demonstrating the Islamic Republic’s naval capabilities and the country’s increasing access to the Western Hemisphere, in spite of years of sanctions and threats.
“This powerful presence indicates the naval capability and strength of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Deputy Chief of the Iranian Army for Coordination Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said in remarks on June 10.
“When we declared our intention to enter the Atlantic Ocean, some countries stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy was not capable of doing that, but in practice, they saw that we did it with strength,” the former chief of the Iranian Navy added.