Fox News on February 8, 2014, reported that a senior Iranian naval commander says his country has sent several warships to the Atlantic Ocean, close to U.S. maritime borders for the first time. Excerpts below:
The commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, is quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying that the vessels have already begun the journey to the Atlantic Ocean via waters near South Africa.
“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message,” Haddad reportedly said, according to Fars, a semi-official Iranian news agency.
Haddad says the fleet is approaching U.S. maritime borders for the first time. The Islamic Republic considers the move as a response to U.S. naval deployments near its own coastlines. The U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet is based in nearby Bahrain — across the gulf from Iran.
In 2012, Iran said it aims to put warships in international waters off the U.S. coast within the next few years, and extend its reach as far as Antarctica.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.