“While the Americans are 12 miles away from our waters [we are not afraid of them], [but] they have been terrified by the presence of the naval fleet of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Atlantic Ocean, which is 5,000 miles away from them, and this fear is due to the fact that Iran’s presence shatters the superiority of the United States [in that region],” Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said in a televised interview on Sunday.
Khanzadi added that Iran’s presence in the Atlantic Ocean is a response to the US claim that the Islamic Republic can never be present in that region.
“Given that the African countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean have no navy and are considered no menace to the US, and the European countries pose no threat to the Americans, the presence of the Islamic Republic, which is based on fighting oppression, in the Atlantic Ocean is a cause of concern for the Americans,” the Iranian commander added.
Back in May, Politico reported that the US national security community had been closely watching two Iranian vessels, including the Makran port ship and the domestically-built Sahand destroyer, which were heading south along the east coast of Africa.
In response, Tehran said it is entitled under international law to sail through international waters, with Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh asserting that “no country can violate this right.”
According to Khanzadi, the Makran port ship has great potential for boosting the presence of Iran’s naval fleets in international waters, “because it is a moving seaport.”
“The Sahand destroyer has also sailed for 400 days since the day it was built, which shows that the youth of this country are well capable in the related sciences,” he said.
The Iranian Navy commander further said Iran is testing the capabilities of its Navy through the ships’ voyage toward the Atlantic.
The Iranian ships’ journey across the Atlantic Ocean has been championed as a “significant step” for Iran’s Navy, demonstrating the Islamic Republic’s naval capabilities and the country’s increasing access to the Western Hemisphere, in spite of years of sanctions and threats.
“This powerful presence indicates the naval capability and strength of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Deputy Chief of the Iranian Army for Coordination Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said in remarks on June 10.
“When we declared our intention to enter the Atlantic Ocean, some countries stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy was not capable of doing that, but in practice, they saw that we did it with strength,” the former chief of the Iranian Navy added.