September 03, 2014

Iran opens new Naval Base near disputed islands

By Sajad - Mon Nov 05 2012, 12:00 pm

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy inaugurated its fifth naval base in the Persian Gulf on Sunday in the southern port city of Bandar Lengeh on the Persian Gulf coast.

It lies north of the Iranian-controlled islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb that dominate the approach to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway through which about one-fifth of the world’s oil supply passes.

IRGC Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said that the new naval zone, named Imam Mohammed Baqer, will cover a region in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz encompassing several Persian Gulf islands, from Qeshm Island to the waters west of Kish Island, according to Fars News, which is closely affiliated to the IRGC.

Fadavi said the IRGC has deployed missile and marine units within the new zone, which will provide “operational coverage” for the islands within its operational range.

In the meantime Revolutionary Guards Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari addressing the ceremony said the new base covered the waters that were playing an extremely important role in Iran’s strategic defense. The base is likely to host the biggest unit of the Revolutionary Guards Navy in future, he added.

This comes as Iranian leaders had in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz due to deepening international tensions over its disputed nuclear program which the West suspected was aimed at developing atomic weapons, a charge Iran consistently denied.

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