Publishe Date: 2:49 PM - 4/5/2014 | Print

Iran, Pakistan Plan Joint Naval Drills in Persian Gulf

Politics - Iran and Pakistan plan to conduct joint naval exercises in the Persian Gulf, a senior Navy commander announced on Saturday.

According to the Iranian Navy's public relations, the Pakistani navy's fleet has already berthed in Bandar Abbas to take part in the joint naval exercises with Iran.

"The most important program of the Pakistani fleet during its presence in Bandar Abbas is holding joint naval drills with selected units of the Iranian Navy's Southern Fleet in the Eastern waters of the Strait of Hormuz on April 8," the Iranian Navy's Deputy Commander for Operations Shahram Irani said.

He noted that Pakistan's naval fleet will have a four-day presence in Bandar Abbas during which the two countries' naval commanders will have meetings.

In recent years, Iran’s Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for trade vessels and tankers.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly asserted that its overseas naval presence is meant to convey a message of peace and friendship to other countries.

Iranian officials and commanders have repeatedly underlined that all military exercises and trainings of the Iranian Armed Forces are merely meant to serve deterrent purposes.

Late in December 2011, the Iranian Army’s Navy staged 10-day wargames, dubbed as Velayat 90, to test its latest achievements in the fields of missile technology and sub-surface vessels.

The wargames were conducted in an area stretching from the East of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden.

During the drills, the Navy test-fired long-range missiles from coasts and navy vessels. Different types of short and long-range coast-to-sea, surface-to-surface, surface-to-air missiles were tested by Iranian vessels. Iranian submarines also launched smart torpedoes in the exercises.

Iran's naval power has even been acknowledged by foes. In a Sep. 11, 2008 report, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy said that in the two decades since the Iraqi imposed war on Iran, the Islamic Republic has excelled in naval capabilities and is able to wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces.

According to the report, Iran's Navy 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.
 

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