Iran naval commander boasts of regional power - analysis

"The navy is a strategic force, and elsewhere it has been said that the navy is a political, international, scientific and military force, so our focus is on being in remote waters."

Iranian Navy ships on a training exercise (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Iranian Navy ships on a training exercise
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Iran’s navy has historically been starved for resources and continues to suffer mishaps, but its commander said this week that it is an important force in the region. Rear Admiral Shahram Irani was speaking at a National Navy Music Festival in Mashad.  

He began by praising the importance of culture for the navy. According to reports, he said “one of the activities of the Ideo-Political Affairs Office of the Navy is sponsoring artistic events and since songs have many enthusiasts, such festivals are the scene for dynamic competitions which are also very exciting,” he said. He noted that art can be distracting but can also help achieve objectives and arts “are in line with Islamic Jihad.”  

The admiral said that the navy cares for its forces and their time with their families. He later gave an interview with Tasnim news at another event in Bandar Abbas. “The strategic naval plans of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran will be arranged according to the orders of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and their plans and will be implemented. The navy is a strategic force, and elsewhere it has been said that the navy is a political, international, scientific and military force, so our focus is on being in remote waters,” he said. 

According to the report, he then added: "The reason for the navy to focus on presence in distant waters is that presence in distant waters with military units is a sign of the country's authority. Inside the country, capable young people and smart and educated craftsmen have been created to show this ability.” In the last year, the Iranian navy sailed two ships to Russia and back. This was a major overseas operation for a navy that usually operates locally.

Iran has also continued to do more joint training with China and Russia in naval affairs. Iran’s IRGC also has its own separate navy, consisting of fast boats, that are used to harass US forces in the Persian Gulf. Iran has carried out attacks on ships in recent years. In addition, it sent an IRGC spy ship to the Red Sea last year.  

IRGC siezes ship near Bu Musa Island, Iran (credit: Wikimedia Commons)IRGC siezes ship near Bu Musa Island, Iran (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

According to the Iranian report, the Iranian navy is seeking to operate further from home. It is trying to overcome “conspiracies” that have apparently kept its ships in drydock and led to challenges. The commander of the navy boasted about new technologies the navy was using but did not elaborate.