'Iran, influential naval power'
Deputy Commander of the Iranian Army Brigadier General Abdul-Rahim Mousavi says the Islamic Republic has developed into a regional and global naval power in view of its major breakthroughs.
The senior Iranian military commander on Monday praised the massive 10-day Velayat-90 naval drill, conducted in an area stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden, as a demonstration of Iran's naval might and capability in the international waters.
He stated that Iran's naval forces are closely monitoring all moves by extra-regional powers in the region as they spotted a helicopter and a US aircraft carrier during Velayat-90 naval exercises.
He said the Iranian Navy's surveillance of foreign military moves during the massive ten-day naval drill was in compliance with international conventions relating to high seas and in line with the country's doctrine of national defense.
Brigadier General Mousavi emphasized that outsiders and foreign forces deployed to the Middle East follow their evil policies in the region and exploit any available opportunity to reach their goals.
He also condemned attempts to incite Iranophobia in regional states, stressing that Iran is interested in the promotion of global peace and tranquility as well as friendship among all world nations.
The top Iranian commander reiterated that the country only resists against expansionist policies of a few bullying powers.
On January 2, Iran wrapped up Velayat-90 naval drill, which was launched on December 24, 2011.
The defensive drill had four stages, namely the preparedness, the expansion of forces, the tactical, and the power phase, which were carried out successfully with the surface and subsurface vessel units and aviation units penetrating to the targeted depths.
The naval drill took place in line with a recent directive by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, instructing Iranian armed forces to maintain total readiness to defend the nation against any potential threats.
Iran maintains that the maneuvers were defensive in nature and intended to convey a message of peace and friendship to the countries of the region. The Islamic Republic has also extended a public invitation to regional states to conduct joint naval drills with Iranian forces.