Heading for a showdown
Iran is planning to send its 15th fleet, comprised of a submarine and a warship, to the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, semi-official news agency Press TV quoted Iranian naval commander Admiral Habibollah Sayyari as saying on Tuesday.
The announcement came after the IDF modified the operational doctrine of the Navy Command Center in Eilat which is responsible for protecting southern Israel from threats originating in the Red Sea. On Monday, two large Navy corvettes were seen docked in Eilat, likely for anti-terror and smuggling operations in the Red Sea.
Sayari stated that the purpose of the Iranian deployment is to patrol in the high seas and display the great capabilities of the Islamic Republic. He added that the fleet would combat pirates as well.
The Iranian naval commander said that Iran’s presence in the Red Sea would tighten security for all countries.
“The presence of Iran’s Army in the high seas will convey the message of peace and friendship to all countries,” he said.
In February, after the downfall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, two Iranian warships passed through the Suez canal for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution en route to Syria, a maneuver Israel described as “provocative”. source – JPost