July 25, 2012
For the second time in less than a year, Iran’s top naval commander has said Iranian Navy vessels will soon be plying the Atlantic Ocean, having made great strides in recent years in expanding its presence beyond Iranian waters.
Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari’s comments came on the same day Iran launched its first domestically-built oil tanker. The 21,000-ton vessel, capable of carrying up to 750,000 barrels of oil, was ordered by Venezuela, and Sayyari’s remarks raise the possibility that a warship may escort the tanker on its delivery sailing to Iran’s Latin American ally.
Iran has also established close ties with Cuba, another potential destination for an Iranian Navy Atlantic voyage.