Iran, Iraq navies sign cooperation agreement
The navies of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Iraq have signed an agreement to expand cooperation between the naval forces of the two countries, Press TV reported.
The agreement was signed on Tuesday by the IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi and Commander of the Iraqi Navy Vice Admiral Ali Hussain Ali.
The document calls for expanding cooperation among the two countries' navies, arranging mutual visits for naval forces and holding joint drills.
Fadavi described the agreement as a beginning for more cooperation between the two countries in the north of the Persian Gulf region.
In recent years, Iran Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for Iranian merchant vessels and tankers.
In November 2012, Russia's Caspian Flotilla Commander Rear Admiral Sergei Alekminski called for closer cooperation between Iranian and Russian naval forces. He said a fleet of Russian ships and frigates would pay a visit to an Iranian port in 2013.
Iran Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said in February 2012 that the naval forces of a number of neighboring countries have expressed desire to send fleets to Iran and Tehran is ready to welcome them.
Iran Navy has also sent vessels to the Indian Ocean and dispatched two ships via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea for the first time in February 2011.
The Islamic Republic has repeatedly assured other nations, especially its neighbors, that its military might poses no threat to other countries, insisting that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.