Iran sends warships close to U.S. maritime borders
Iran for the first time has sent several warships to the Atlantic Ocean, close to U.S. maritime borders, the Associated Press reported a senior Iranian naval commander as saying Saturday.
The vessels have already begun the journey to the Atlantic Ocean via waters near South Africa, the commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, is quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.
Iranian officials said last month that the fleet consisted of a destroyer and a logistic helicopter carrier, which will be on a three-month mission.
According to Haddad, the fleet is approaching U.S. maritime borders for the first time.
Some say the fleet is the Islamic Republic's rseponse to U.S. naval deployments near its own coastlines The U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet is based in nearby Bahrain.
The London-based researcher Mohr Dad Khonsari at The Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies told Al Arabiya News whether Iran’s ties with the West were “good” or “bad,” the Islamic republic can legally send its ships to international water bodies. Khonsari said it “it is not a provocation,” but on the contrary, U.S. sending its fleet in the Gulf region could be considered as such.
“I don’t attach any reason for [sending the ships] that,” and the move “need to be justified,” he said.