Iranian Navy Bases
Iran may seek to set up naval bases in Yemen and Syria in the future, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces said in remarks published on 27 November 2016. His comments, likely to worry Iran’s Sunni regional rival Saudi Arabia and its allies, raised the prospect of distant footholds perhaps being more valuable militarily to Tehran than nuclear technology. “We need distant bases, and it may become possible one day to have bases on the shores of Yemen and Syria, or bases on islands or floating (bases),” said General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, quoted by the Shargh daily newspaper. “Is having distant bases less than nuclear technology? I say it is worth dozens of times more,” added Baqeri, who was speaking at a gathering of naval commanders.
Iran is a key backer of the Houthi rebels in Yemen and has soldiers fighting on the side of President Bashar al-Assad against rebels in Syria. In a rare rebuke for Iran, a Houthi official criticized Baqeri’s comments and urged Tehran to read about the history of failed attempts to occupy Yemen. “Not one inch of Yemen’s land or waters will be forfeited to any foreign party … whether a friend or an enemy,” said Saleh al-Samad, the Houthis’ political council chief said.
On 22 November 2016, Iran said that it was increasing its naval capabilities by building three new bases in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, citing security threats posed by Somali pirates.
Iran's naval bases are located in two regions: the Persian Gulf and Oman and the Caspian Sea. At the same time, the main Iranian forces are concentrated in the south of the country. The largest point of deployment of Iranian Navy units is Bandar Abbas Navy Base, which is headquartered in Iran's navy. The developed infrastructure of this base allows almost all patrol ships and different submarines to be deployed.
The navy has its headquarters at Bandar-e Abbas. In 1977 the bulk of the fleet was shifted from Khorramshahr to the newly completed base at Bandar-e Abbas, the new naval headquarters. Bushehr was the other main base. Smaller facilities were located at Khorramshahr, Kharg Island, and Bandar-e Khomeini (formerly known as Bandar-e Shahpur). Bandar-e Anzelli (formerly known as Bandar-e Pahlavi) was the major training base and home of the small Caspian fleet, which consisted of a few patrol boats and a minesweeper. The naval base at Bandar Beheshti (formerly known as Chah Bahar) on the Gulf of Oman had been under construction since the late 1970s and in late 1987 still was not completed. Smaller facilities were located near the Strait of Hormuz.
Iranian naval operations were organized into five major zones, three on the Persian Gulf (Bandar Abbas, Bushehr and Khark), one on the Caspian Sea (Bandar Anzali), and one on the Indian Ocean (Chah Bahar). Bandar Abbas was the main Iranian naval base, providing a home for the main components of Iran's navy (its frigates and destroyers), as well as functioning as the navy's main ship repair yard. Bandar Anzali had become increasingly important, having minesweeping and full coastal water defense capabilities. Nou Shahr, also on the Caspian, is increasingly important, housing the Iranian naval academy.
By 1976 the 6 major ports of Bandar-e Abbas, Bandar-e Shahpur, Chah Bahar (known as Bandar-e Beheshti after the 1979 Revolution), Bushehr, Abadan, and Khorramshahr had a capacity of 12 million tons, with expansion projects underway. By late 1977, unloading delays, which had caused serious issues in commerical transport through Iran's ports, were no longer a problem. As a result of war damage, the ports of Abadan and Khorramshahr were closed in 1980, leaving the other four main ports and twelve minor ports in operation.
By 1977 the bulk of the fleet was shifted from Khorramshahr to the newly completed base at Bandar-e Abbas, which became the new naval headquarters. Bushehr was the other main base. Smaller facilities were located at Khorramshahr, Kharg Island, and Bandar-e Khomeini (formerly known as Bandar-e Shahpur). Bandar-e Anzali (formerly known as Bandar-e Pahlavi) was the home of the small Caspian fleet. Other facilities were being constructed, such as Bandar Beheshti (formerly Chah Bahar), construction of which had begun prior to 1979.
During the Iran-Iraq War, Iranian naval continued to use many of the existing naval facilities, expanding during the conflict and into the Tanker War mainly to offshore oil platforms, used as improvised forward operating bases. By the end of the conflict, international participation, primarily by the United States, had led to main of Iran's purpose built naval facilities and improvised bases suffering damage. Extensive repairs and expansions continued to be conduct throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s.
Another important naval base is Bushehr, which is located in one of the parts of Bushehr. The main task of the surface ships and units of the Naval Air Force of Iran (based at a nearby airport) is to protect the nuclear power plant. In the northwest of Bushehr, the base is "Kharg" on an island of the same name. It should be noted that the island is one of the largest oil terminals in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and its protection is the most important duty of marine and air units. Located on the island of Kharak airport.
Khorramshahr Naval Base is located near the border with Iraq. Currently, it is located at the training center of the Naval Scientific and Technical University of Iran and its staff is planning new types of submarine weapons.
The naval force of the Revolutionary Guards is located in the main naval bases of the Islamic Republic of Iran and at points which are at the disposal of the Revolutionary Guards. Such an establishment includes Persian, Lark, Siri and Abu Musa naval bases. Due to the high level of Serit, there is very little information about the Persian Navy base. Regarding the Lark and Siri bases, it is only clear that the main forces of the Revolutionary Guards are located, and in addition, the airports of those islands allow helicopters and personnel to repel enemy air strikes.
The Abu Musa Base is the strongest naval unit of the Revolutionary Guards, a network of underground fortifications around the base and long-term firefighting points (tanks). The air defense of the island consists of a Hawk-guided anti-aircraft missile and an anti-aircraft gun. In addition, C-802 anti-ship missiles can be launched from solid positions.
The Navy has bases in the Caspian Sea. The Navy's headquarters in the Caspian Sea is located on the territory of the main Anzali basin located in the province of Guilan. On the eastern side of Anzali, the second Caspian Naval Base is located in Noshahr, and operates in the Maritime Ayatollah Khomeini Marine Corps - the Marine Corps Training Center for the Navy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
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