NEW COLD WAR? IRAN SENDS WARSHIPS TO GULF OF MEXICO (Source Newsweek)
Iranian warships are set to leave the waters of the Persian Gulf to sail across the world and tour another gulf—the one that lies between the U.S. and Mexico.
At a time when Iran is looking to expand and modernize its military in the face of what is seen as a growing U.S. threat, its newly appointed navy commander, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, held his first press conference Wednesday, announcing that a fleet of Iranian ships would soon depart for the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico en route to visits to a number of South American countries, Iran’s semiofficial Tasnim News Agency reported. The move is reportedly part of a push to project Iran’s military on a more global scale and establish international ties as President Donald Trump and his allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, seek to isolate the revolutionary Shiite Muslim power. “Sailing in open waters between Europe and Americas should be the navy’s goal, which will be realized in the near future,” Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, who served as navy chief for 10 years before being assigned by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to deputy coordinator of the army, said earlier this month at his successor’s ceremony, according to the Tasnim News Agency and translated by Caspian News.
Khanzadi also pledged to introduce new vessels and submarines next year and announced other upcoming plans to bolster the country’s naval power. He said the new Peykan-class missile-launching corvette Separ (shield) would join the country’s Caspian Fleet next week. In addition to the planned reintroduction of refurbished and renovated vessels, a new navy airport was reportedly set to be under way in the southeastern port city of Jask, along the Makran coast.