Iran navy file photo. Credit Davoud Poorsehat, IRNA
“We are building two naval zones and three naval bases on Makran coasts, and this is in line with our policy of making a return to the sea,” Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said at a press conference in Tehran on Monday, as quoted by Tehran Times.
Developing naval capabilities on the Makran coast has been one of Iran’s top priorities since 2014, when Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei called for the country to secure the region.
The Iranian Navy will continue beefing up its operational capability by upgrading its existing fleet, and through the introduction of indigenous vessels and equipment, the admiral added.
The construction announcement on Monday follows a number of tense encounters between the US and Iranian navies in the region.
In the latest reported incident in September, seven Iranian fast-attack boats had an “unsafe encounter” with the USS Firebolt.
There have been 31 encounters involving Iranian and US vessels in the Persian Gulf so far this year, up from 23 last year.Bilateral encounters in the region intensified after Iran detained 10 US sailors earlier this year as they entered Iranian waters near the Farsi Islands on two military boats.
The US claimed the incident was due to mechanical failure, with Iran later releasing all of the US servicemen.
U.S. Navy sailors held by Iran, January 2016
Tags: Gulf of Oman, Indian Ocean, Iran new bases in Persian Gulf, Iran's bases, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iranian fast-attack boats, Iranian Navy, naval bases, nuclear deal, Persian Gulf, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, U.S. Navy, U.S. Navy sailors, USS Firebolt, Yemen