DM: Trans-Regional Countries Not Allowed in Iran’s Territorial Waters
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan underlined that the country’s Armed Forces are fully ready to repel any possible foreign threat, adding that Iran does not allow alien vessels to pass through its territorial waters.
“Under no circumstances Iran under will tolerate the presence of foreign forces in the region,” Brigadier General Dehqan told reporters on Thursday.
The Iranian defense minister underlined that Iran is powerful enough to maintain security of the region.
He noted that the Tehran never has its eyes on territorial integrity or resources of other countries, and said, “Regional countries should form a coalition to maintain their own security.”
In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems, but it has repeatedly stressed that it military progress and achievements are only aimed at deterrent purposes.
The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.
According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.
The Gulf of Aden – which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea – is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West via the Suez Canal.
Iran’s naval power has even been acknowledged by foes. In a Sep. 11, 2008 report, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy said that in the two decades since the Iraqi imposed war on Iran, the Islamic Republic has excelled in naval capabilities and is able to wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces.
According to the report, Iran’s Navy has been transformed into a highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-financed force and is effectively in control of the world’s oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz.