Islamic Republic Navy’s 44th flotilla of warships has entered the Atlantic ocean for the first time via state-controlled media.
Nevertheless, Al Monitor has questioned the claim, which is based on comments from Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, commander of the Iranian Navy.
“For the first time, the Navy’s 44th flotilla, comprised of Bushehr logistic warship and Alvand destroyer, has sailed around the African continent and arrived in the Atlantic Ocean,” Tasnim News Agency quotes the Iranian commander as saying on Monday.
The state-controlled news agency goes on to note that the Iranian naval fleet has docked at the Port of Durban.
However, Al Monitor claims that Durban is actually located on the Indian Ocean, an estimated 930 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
Earlier this month, Iran’s state-run Press TV reported that the 44th flotilla of the Iranian Navy was heading to the Atlantic Ocean.
“The dispatched fleet of the Iranian Navy will continue to sail toward the Atlantic Ocean after South Africa if the conditions are suitable,” Cmdr. Sayyari told reporters at the time.
“When a fleet establishes its presence in an ocean and the high seas, it shows the capabilities of the Iranian Army’s naval forces, which can hoist Iran’s flag on the high seas,” he also said.
Sayyari indicated that the move “can strengthen Iran’s ties with regional countries, prevent Iranophobia and convey Iran’s message of peace and friendship to other countries.”
Tasnim News Agency published a video of the 44th fleet at sea, claiming it was on the Atlantic Ocean.
Sayyari explained that the fleet’s mission is to protect Iranian vessels and oil tankers against pirates.
“The Iranian navy has escorted 3,844 oil tankers and vessels in the Gulf of Aden to safeguard the country’s economy,” he said, according to Al Monitor.
Press TV quotes the Navy commander as adding that “the dispatch of the 44th flotilla to the high seas shows the naval forces’ might and strength.”
In May, Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, threatened to “drown” U.S. warships that pose a threat to the Iran.
Press TV reports that the 44th fleet embarked on the voyage that allegedly reached the Atlantic Ocean on October 5.
“It first crossed the Gulf of Aden and then docked at Tanzanian port city of Dar es Salaam on October 29 and remained there for three days,” it notes. “It later sailed through Mozambique’s maritime border.”
“The flotilla successfully saved two Iranian ships from three pirate attacks on October 17 in the Gulf of Aden,” adds Press TV.
Since March, the Iranian navy has traveled to India, Pakistan, Oman, Tanzania, Azerbaijan, and South Africa and plans to go to Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, in addition to countries that border the Indian Ocean countries and are located in Southeast Asia, said the Iran Navy commander.
Iran has said its military presence in international waters is in line with international efforts against piracy.
Moreover, senior Iranian navy officials have repeatedly said that “Iranian fleets carry amessage of peace and friendship to other countries,” reports Al Monitor.