Iran boasts of naval defense abilities

Nov. 26, 2012 at 10:50 AM

TEHRAN, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- The Iranian navy has the ability to prevent any warships from approaching its territory from the Persian Gulf, a commander said Monday.

Iranian navy Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said Iranian forces keep a close eye on warships in the Persian Gulf.

"So far, we have not allowed anybody to approach our borders," he was quoted by Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying.

Iran last week announced late December plans for naval exercises in the Persian Gulf.

Ahead of the maneuvers, Sayyari said the navy expects to unveil a new missile-bearing warship along with two new 170-ton Ghadir class submarines in the coming days. The warship, dubbed Sinai 7, is expected in regional waters by Wednesday, Sayyari said.

Iran's plans for naval exercises coincide with the resumption of negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran is suspected of pursuing the technology needed to manufacture a nuclear weapon, an allegation the government there denies.

Sayyari made no mention of an attempt to close shipping lanes in the strait, a conduit for much of the world's maritime oil shipments.

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