Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 15
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran plans to hold a naval drill in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, the commander of Iran's navy, rear admiral, Habibollah Sayyari said.
The drill dubbed Veleyat 93 is scheduled to be held late December in the 10 degree geographical latitude, Sayyari said, the country's ISNA news agency reported Nov. 15.
"From now on the military drills of the Islamic Republic naval forces will not be limited to the country's territorial waters," he added. "We are present in high seas to defend interests of our country."
Sayyari also expressed hope that the navy could use new crafts and weapons in the upcoming drill.
In recent years, Iran's navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect maritime routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts to combat piracy, the Iranian navy has also been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to safeguard the vessels involved in maritime trade, especially the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.
The Iranian navy managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its missions in international waters.
On Feb. 13, Sayyari said Iran's naval forces thwarted over 150 pirate attacks on Iranian merchant vessels and oil tankers in the past four years.