Iran Navy announces plans to expand to South Pole
The naval chief, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari was adamant his country has every right to be present in the international waters near the South Pole.“We have the capability to hoist Iran’s flags in different regions from the North Pole to the South Pole and we are preparing plans for presence near the South Pole,” the country’s Press TV news network quoted him as saying on Friday.“However, we will never enter the maritime borders of others and we will not allow anybody to enter even a centimeter into our territorial waters,” added Sayyari. Earlier in September, the country’s navy chief announced plans to establish Iran’s naval presence in the international waters off the US coast. The remark was apparently meant as a response to the increase in the number of US vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, off the coast of Iran.Admiral Sayyari then mentioned that the Iranian navy was steadily expanding its international presence. “Today the presence of Iran’s Navy extends from the Persian Gulf to the north of the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden and Bab el-Mandeb,” the navy chief then said in his interview on state TV. Last year, two Iranian warships had for the first time entered the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal.In line with international anti-piracy efforts, since November 2008 the Iranian Navy has been patrolling in the Gulf of Aden to safeguard the vessels involved in maritime trade, especially the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by the country.