- (Reuters/Khaled al-Hariri)
An Iranian navy official announced on Tuesday that his country plans to deploy ships near the maritime borders of the United States.
The Iranian state run news agency Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted Iran’s top Navy official Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari saying, “The Navy of the Iranian Army will have a powerful presence near the United States borders.”
He added, “Just like the global hegemony that is present near our marine borders, we also plan to establish a strong presence near U.S. marine borders.”
The IRNA also quoted the official as saying that Iran would establish a presence in the Atlantic Ocean the “same way” that the arrogant world’s forces of imperialism have a military presence near Iran’s borders.
The navy official also added that Iran’s naval operations should “have a strong presence in all open seas.”
The Tehran Times reported that Iran’s current naval presence extends to Bab el-Mandeb, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Suez Canal.
Tuesday’s announcement was made on the 31st anniversary of the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war, in which U.S. support for Iraq was instrumental in the outcome of the conflict.
The questioning of U.S. power and military presence in the world by Iran is no new phenomenon. Just last week at the U.N. General Assembly, Iran’s leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked, “What is the justification for the presence of hundreds of U.S. military and intelligence bases in different parts of the world?”
He added, “Does this mean anything other than the military occupation?”
The Pentagon has addressed Iran’s new push into the Atlantic seas stating the movement is fine so long as Iran remains in international waters. One official said if Iranian warships choose to approach America’s marine borders “they might have some company.”
Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby said, “We’ve been pushing freedom of the seas for years and the Iranian navy can go wherever it wants.”
Tuesday’s announcement gave no indication of just what type of vessels Iran might deploy, or when they might deploy them.