Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, speaking in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, described Iran’s maritime history and presence in the seas as long-standing and said: Before the establishment of many countries, such as the United States, which are sailing today and are considered as naval powers, Iran had been a seafaring country. When we were sailing in the oceans, those countries did not even exist.

Saying that according to the available documents, the Iranians were sailors one hundred years before Christ, adding: The digging of the Suez Canal was first done by the Iranians, so our maritime history is rich; but for various reasons, including the weakness of the previous kings, we distanced ourselves from the sea, and this distance was intensified by the conspiracies of the British colonialists and those who did not want Iran to appear as a naval power.

Commander of the navy continued: After the revolution, in a way in the first step, the revolution followed the path of its internal construction and strengthened itself. An accumulation of capacities brought knowledge and technology to the forefront of what is happening today. In the second step of the Islamic Revolution which, according to the Supreme Leader, is the step of civilization building, we are thinking of a new Islamic civilization and maritime civilization is part of the civilization of a maritime country.

Our opportunities and threats are at sea

Saying that many of the country’s trade is done by sea, and with 15 neighboring countries, Iran has a sea border with 80 percent of its neighbors, Admiral Khanzadi noted: Opportunities for us are at sea and, incidentally, the threats around us are mainly at sea; therefore, given the interests we have at sea, we must prepare ourselves to have a security presence as far as our interests are concerned.

Security-building presence; for national interests

He pointed to different approaches to being present in the far and beyond the coast of a coastal country, adding: One view is the arrogance through which the United States and its allies today seek to exert power in areas far from their main coasts. They want to use their power to disrupt the security arrangements in the region.

Commander of the navy explained: Our presence at sea is in the national interest and for our security, stressing: Today is the age of the ‘water economy’ and the deep-ocean economy. Our trade by sea with the rest of the world is done through ocean waters. Earlier, our fleet was present in the Persian Gulf, which covers an area of ​​306,000 square kilometers; but today, thanks to the revolution and the opportunity created by the Supreme Leader for the Navy to expand eastward and enter the ocean, we are witnessing extension of our presence to the Red Sea. We escort our merchant ships and oil tankers to the mouth of the Suez Canal and from there to safe seas in the Indian Ocean off our coast.

Escort of 47 ships and tankers last year

Amir Khanzadi, stating that the Navy has escorted 47 merchant ships and tankers in the past year, said: If we consider each tanker as 37,000 tons, we escorted 10 million barrels of oil, and if each tanker is calculated to be 100 thousand tons, 30 million barrels of oil have been escorted and safely reached their destination. This is the valuable result of the strong presence of the navy of the army at sea, which is in favor of the revolution and thanks to the capacities that have been formed in the context of the revolution.

Messages of presence of Iranian squadron in Atlantic Ocean

Enumerating the messages of the presence of Iranian ships in the Atlantic Ocean, he stated: They imposed sanctions on us and spoke of maximum pressure, but despite such pressures, Iranian destroyers and warships were built, as we saw in the past few days the unveiling of “Dena”. The Sahand destroyer, which has now entered the North Atlantic Ocean, joined the navy in 1997 (2018). From then until today, this fleet has been sailing for 400 days, and in fact half of that time has been at sea.

Khanzadi added: Those achievements show the ability of Iran to have no dependence on foreign countries and sanctions have no effect on it. Today we have complete independence in producing indigenous defense capabilities. This is a valuable achievement that we are seeing in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Commander of the Navy said that some positions of the western countries regarding the presence of the Iranian ship in the Atlantic Ocean were due to their confusion and concern, adding: In fact, there is no country among the countries in the Atlantic and the Caribbean that has the ability to sail the ocean and this makes sense for the United States as a power. Countries in those areas are under US control. The same is true of South America and Africa. Under such situation, when the navy entered the Atlantic Ocean with the flag of Islamic Iran, after 500 years, the Americans saw a power from the East, near their borders, with the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Gates of Atlantic Ocean being open to us

He continued: This issue worries them, because it is the beginning of a great movement for a stable presence in the Atlantic Ocean. Today, the gates of the Atlantic Ocean are open to us, and this path is known to us. Arrogance must pay attention if it marches along our borders, there is today the ability in the navy of the army of the Islamic Republic of Iran to take retaliatory measure.

Khanzadi emphasized: Certainly, this presence will be repeated with more power in the future, and God willing, we will send a submarine to that area.

The Commander of the Navy called the third message of this measure of Iran an inspiration for the free nations of the world and continued: Iran has made a revolution and has stood on its own feet for more than 40 years, this issue is inspiring for the free nations of the world which are under the yoke of arrogance. They look at a country that unshackled itself from the yoke of arrogance, stood on its own feet, and today, with power, its youth are sailing in the Atlantic Ocean.

He added: They are now about 8600 miles away from the borders of Iran, without docking at any port. They are completely independent in the sea and can cross stormy seas with full facilities. Arrogance did not expect such a powerful presence at all and has created terror for them.

The Commander of the Navy said that arrogance in our region pursues two strategies: on the one hand, by creating a security environment and enumerating Iran’s capabilities, it causes concern in small countries in the region, and on the other hand, by justifying their presence alongside those governments it gives a government that has no national legitimacy, trans-regional legitimacy. This strategy is “complementary to power.” As Trump told them, if we get out of here, you will speak Persian within a week! Unfortunately, small countries of the region have fallen into the trap of the two strategies.

He stressed: One of the important steps that Iran must take, and of course has put on its agenda, is to try to develop regional convergence, despite all the divergences imposed on the region due to the security arrangements created by the United States and its allies. There is definitely this potential and capacity. If the countries of the region come together, large transit potentials, oil and energy, and the strategic seas and straits around the region can generate power and prestige for the region.

Admiral Khanzadi added: We took a measure that prompted the United States to make extensive efforts to put pressure on the Caribbean countries to keep the Iranian navy away from their shores.

Iran’s defense policy based on deterrence

Saying that today, we do not see significant naval power in the Persian Gulf region, he noted: The nature of those countries and the Arabian Peninsula is terrestrial. In the history of Islam, even when they wanted to march on Europe, they did not enter the sea, they approached the Strait of Gibraltar, in order to have the shortest area of ​​the sea before them. They are not sailors and the sea is empty. In this circumstances, Iran stands alone against all kinds of threats. While we believe in collective cooperation for maritime security; that type of cooperation that requires regional convergence.

Commander of the Navy, emphasizing that Iran’s defense policy is based on deterrence, said: If one wants to attack, one must know that despite this power, what one gains is much less than what one loses. A strong presence at sea is the basis of this policy of deterrence. At the same time that one of our squadron is located in the Atlantic Ocean, another squadron is in the Red Sea and the next is getting prepared after that. This is the peak of the readiness and naval defense capability of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Western objective of waging media war against Iran’s squadron

Admiral Khanzadi, while referring to some efforts to create a psychological atmosphere against Iran in international waters, reminded: Our approach is based on countering the threat, building security and preventing formation of insecure centers at sea. The movement of the squadron is calculated and planned, and this plan is with us, and they are unaware of the plan. This ignorance has created a great deal of ambiguity for them, of which they are deeply concerned. That is why they have started a media war and are trying to know the position of the Islamic Republic and its next plan.

He continued: They have no choice but to say that they monitor our movement. We also closely monitor and are careful. We observe the planes that fly even at very high altitudes and more than 30,000 feet on the deck of those ships moment by moment and know from their position which plane flies from the American airport and on the deck of which ship it lands. From the deck of this ship, we watch any aircraft flying anywhere in the world. Our information network is so rich in connection with this squadron that there is no room for threat. We do our job with strength, because the support of this squadron is the national power of Islamic Iran.

Iran’s attention for regional, international strategic cooperation

The Commander of the Navy mentioned strategic cooperation and alliances with countries in the region or international powers in the field of ocean navigation as other issues of interest to Iran and said: This squadron has the ability to orbit the ground several times without having to stop for refueling.

Khanzadi stressed: The Americans may make a noise, but it has not had the slightest effect on the will of the children of this country who are on the deck of the ship and the children of this country who lead the navy and make policy in the army.

Greatest navigation in history of Iran

The Commander of the Navy, stating that this is the first naval presence in the history of Iranian civilization in the Atlantic Ocean, added: One of the issues that worries the United States is Iran’s capabilities both in the technical field and in the field of will and self-confidence. This is the value that was created thanks to the revolution. Young people from the generation of the revolution were trained to lead their fleets in the seas they have never set foot on. This is not a simple navigation and there are military and technical threats in it. This worries Americans more than anything else.

In conclusion, he emphasized that this is the greatest navigation in the history of Iran, adding: I believe that the structural center of gravity of the global naval power is shifting in favor of the regional powers. Today, it is the uprising of the Iranian Islamic civilization that is heading towards the sea, and it will certainly create great opportunities for the Islamic Republic of Iran and eliminate the illegitimate opportunities that arrogance is taking advantage of.