A Pakistani fleet of warships has docked at the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas to hold a joint naval drill with Iran in the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, a senior Iranian commander says.
The flotilla on Saturday arrived in Bandar Abbas where it will stay for four days, said Iranian Navy’s second-in-command for operations Rear-Admiral Shahram Irani.
“The most important plan of the Pakistani fleet during its stay in Bandar Abbas is to stage joint maneuvers with select units …of the Iranian Navy on April 8 which will be held in the eastern waters of the Strait of Hormuz,” he added.
He said that the Pakistani fleet is conveying a message of peace and friendship and will help boost military cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad.
The commander noted that the fleet is comprised of a missile-launcher warship, a logistic warship and an advanced submarine.
Iranian and Pakistani naval authorities will hold official meetings during the Pakistani fleet’s stay, said the commander.
The joint naval exercise between Iran and Pakistan will come as the Islamic Republic has so far held several naval relief and rescue drills with Oman aimed at enhancing readiness to offer relief services and perform rescue operations as well as upgrading regional cooperation.
In recent years, Iran’s Navy has increased its presence in the international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has also been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 in order to safeguard merchant containers and oil tankers.
Iran’s Navy has managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its missions in international waters.