July 26, 2012
Tags: Cuba, Iran, Iran Military
Mark 13:7-8 [Jesus said] "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom...."
Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Iran’s top navy commander announced they have made great strides in expanding their coverage area beyond Iranian waters in pursuit of safeguarding Iranian interests. They will soon be patrolling the Atlantic Ocean. They want the world to know that they are a power to contend with.
Iran has also launched its first domestically-built oil tanker. This new vessel is capable of transporting up to 750,000 barrels of oil. The ship has been ordered by Venezuela, and there is a possibility that an Iranian warship may escort the tanker on its way to Latin American.
Cuba and Iran have established ties and Cuba might also be a destination port for Iranian war ships. The Mehr news agency quoted Sayyari as saying, “The navy has carried out successful activities in open seas, and in the near future we will witness the presence of the navy in the Atlantic Ocean. The powerful presence of the Iranian Navy in the high seas has proven the Islamic Republic’s might.”
Sayyari drew attention to the fact that Iran has been expanding their navy’s capabilities over the last 10 years. Once limited to the Persian Gulf, Iranian warships have been carrying out patrols in the Gulf of Aden-Horn of Africa. Iran also sent a ship through Egypt’s Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea. That voyage came shortly after the fall of the Mubarak regime, which opened up the possibility of better relations between Egypt and Iran.
In February of this year an Iranian destroyer and navy supply vessel navigated the Suez Canal, entered the Mediterranean once more and docked at the Port of Tartus in Syria, greatly upsetting Israel.
“Today we witness that the army’s naval force is deployed in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea instead of the Persian Gulf, and Allah willing, we will go beyond the Mediterranean in future,” said Rear Admiral Sayyari.
“Like the arrogant powers that are present near our (Iranian) marine borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to the American marine borders,” the Admiral said last year. The U.S. dismissed the comments as bombastic rhetoric and the White House press secretary Jay Carney responded, “We don’t take these statements seriously, given that they do not reflect at all Iran’s naval capabilities.” The U.S. State Dept. said, “Given the limited size and capability of the Iranian navy, they would be far better off focusing on the challenges closer to home, including reducing the potential for naval incidents in the Gulf and playing a constructive role in freedom of navigation and maritime issues at home.”
Perhaps the U.S. should take Iran more seriously.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has paid 2 official state visits to Venezuela this year, strengthening ties with Hugo Chavez, as well as Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador.
On Ahmadinejad’s most recent visit, last month, he hailed Chavez’ support in the face of U.S. hostility and declared that “justice-seeking nations like Iran and Venezuela will definitely build their countries and make progress outside the dominance of imperialism.”
In 2008 Russia deployed navy ships led by its Northern Fleet flagship, the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy. That voyage was referred to as a “fist in America’s belly” by the Russian media. The Russians were there to stage joint maneuvers with Venezuelan Navy vessels in the Caribbean.