Iran Says Its Submarines are in the Red Sea
Military submarines entered Red Sea "for collecting information and identifying other countries' combat vessels," says Iran news agency.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/7/2011, 11:57 AM / Last Update: 6/7/2011, 11:51 AM
Iran has sent military submarines to the Red Sea, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
"Iranian military submarines entered the Red Sea waters with the goal of collecting information and identifying other countries' combat vessels," Fars said in a Tuesday report, citing an unidentified source.
It did not say how many submarines were involved or what type they were but noted they had sailed alongside warships from the Iranian Navy's 14th fleet.
State-run Press TV said in a report earlier in May that the 14th fleet – which is comprised of two vessels, the warship Bandar Abbas and the destroyer Shahid Naqdi – had been sent to fight piracy.
"The fleet entered the Gulf of Aden region in May and has now entered the Red Sea in the continuation of its mission," Fars said.
Two Iranian warships passed through the Suez Canal en route to Syria in February, for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Israel called that move a "serious provocation."
According to Reuters, Iran announced last August it had expanded its fleet of domestically built 120-ton Ghadir-class submarines to 11. These, it said, would be used to patrol the Gulf and the Sea of Oman.
Israel reportedly stationed submarines near Iran last year.