IRGC to set up ‘permanent base’ in Indian Ocean

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says it plans to set up a “permanent base” in the Indian Ocean in order to expand its presence across world oceans as per a directive by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

The Leader has tasked the corps with maintaining a presence in the waters that lie far away from the country, obligating such a presence to be a permanent one, IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri told Fars news agency from the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, the agency reported on Monday.

The presence would seek to utilize the capacities that are owned by the country’s strategic naval force, the commander said.

Accordingly, the IRGC “is planning to create a permanent base in the Indian Ocean and will operationalize this by the end of the Persian calendar year” in March 2021, he added.

The Islamic Republic’s Navy has repeatedly conducted maritime assignments, Tangsiri noted, adding the IRGC Navy has so far dispatched two naval groups to the Indian Ocean.

The IRGC Navy boasts a 35-year history of defending the country’s territorial waters against acts of mischief by foreign naval forces, including recurrent instances, when it has warned away the United States Navy’s transgressing vessels or unprofessional and provocative behavior.

‘A powerful, steadfast presence’

The commander recalled how pirates and some foreign vessels had, in the past, created disturbances for Iranian trawlers and dhows in the Sea of Oman and the entrance to the Indian Ocean.

“Through its powerful presence in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean, the Corps will no longer leave any room for such acts of infringement,” he asserted.

The Corps has carried out all the detailed planning and calculations that are required to enable “a powerful and steadfast presence” in the oceanic area in order to further empower Iranian fishermen’s future activities there, Tangsiri concluded.

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