Baku, Azerbaijan, May 3
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The Iranian navy ensures security of Strait of Hormuz, as well as Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf, the Islamic Republic's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said.
So there is no need for US navy to escort their ships in the region, he added.
The Persian Gulf is completely secure, meanwhile Gulf of Aden and the Bab-el-Mandeb lacks security and US navy is better to escort their ships there, the Iranian commander said, ISNA news agency reported May 3.
The US Navy accompanied four American-flagged ships and a British vessel moving through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf on April 30, and officials said the US will render assistance to any other nation concerned about interference from Iranian vessels.
The policy was adopted after Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps naval vessels reportedly fired warning shots near a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship earlier this week and have detained it and its crew.
Iran says it intervened with the Maersk Tigris because the Maersk shipping line owes it money awarded in a lawsuit.
Sayyari also touched upon the issue and called the cargo ship's detention "completely legal."
He further said that the Iranian navy seeks to increase accuracy and range of its missiles.
The Iranian commander also said that the Islamic Republic's navy was currently covering an area 1.3 times bigger than the country's one, adding that naval defense is a matter of concern and importance in today's world and progressing on the sea means progressing in defense arena.
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