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Iran ups radius of naval operations

A senior Iranian naval commander says the Islamic Republic has managed to increase the radius of its naval operations to 7,000 kilometers by sending vessels to the Mediterranean Sea.

“By dispatching the Iranian navy ships to the Mediterranean Sea and through the Suez Canal, the Iranian Navy has increased the radius of its operations to 7,000 kilometers,” Admiral Fariborz Qaderpanah said on Monday, IRNA reported.

Iran’s Navy has conveyed the message of peace and friendship to the world by sending its navy ships on international missions, he added.

Qaderpanah noted that much to Israel’s concern, Iran’s Navy made great achievements during its mission in the Mediterranean Sea.

An Iranian Navy fleet returned to the country on Sunday after a 60-day mission in the Mediterranean Sea and successful passage through the Suez Canal.

Iran says consolidating ties with regional countries, providing security for shipping lines in the Gulf of Aden and training naval students were among the objectives accomplished during the mission.

Last week, Qaderpanah pointed out that the Iranian Navy has dispatched its thirteen fleet of warships to the piracy-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden.

In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 in order to safeguard merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.

The Gulf of Aden, which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is a strategic energy corridor, particularly because the Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West via the Suez Canal.

Despite patrols by EU, NATO and several other countries, Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships in recent years and have taken in tens of millions of dollars in ransoms.

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