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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Foreign presence in Persian Gulf destabilizing: President

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Bandar Abbas, Oct 28, IRNA -- Foreign presence in the Persian Gulf is a destabilizing factor, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here on Saturday night.

He made the remarks during a visit to Jamaran destroyer in Bandar Abbas port in the south of Iran on the Persian Gulf.

'Iran has been always helpful to the Persian Gulf security and it can guarantee the Persian Gulf security by using the regional capacities.'

The president added that Iranian nation has never been an aggressive one but the history has proved that they are good defenders of their country.

Ahmadinejad, underlining the important role of Tehran in the current international equations, noted that Iranians have been always justice seeking and idealist rejecting dogmatism and racism.

'Iranian navy is responsible for defending the sovereignty and integrity of the country; Iran's navy is the messenger of peace for the regional countries as well as the human society; Iranian nation has respect for other nations and has never been greedy for dominance over other nation's wealth or land.'

He called Iranian navy's presence in the international waters as a turning point in the international equations.

'Iranian navy is self-reliance and is able to provide all its equipment needs; no power is able to impede the way of Iranian nation to progress forward.'

Iran's Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayyari presented the president a report on the navy's strategic programs and granted Ahmadinejad with a submarine's sculpture.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN), also known as the Iranian Navy, is the naval defense service branch of the Islamic Republic of Iran's armed forces. The IRIN has traditionally been the smallest branch of the Iranian military and is tasked mainly with securing Iran's ports and coastline. Over time, the Iranian Navy has changed its mission to primarily anti-piracy beyond the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.

As far as major new equipment is concerned, Iran has been building up its naval strength. In August 2000, Iran announced that it had launched its first domestically produced light submarine or swimmer delivery vehicle, named the Al-Sabiha 15 because of its 15 meters length, in an official ceremony at the Bandar Abbas naval base. In May 2005, Iran Navy announced that it had launched its Ghadir class (midget class submarine) and in 8 March 2006 announced that it had launched another submarine named Nahang class.

The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.

According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.

The Gulf of Aden - which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea - is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West via the Suez Canal.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80389480

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