The Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, hailed Iran’s presence in the annual Russian Navy Day parade. He muses, “This success means the opening of the gates of the North Sea and Finland to the fleet of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army.”
Admiral Khanzadi, who was invited by the Russian Defense Minister, arrived at St. Petersburg as the head of an Iranian delegation, said, “In this long voyage, these ships entered the world’s strategic areas, something that is unprecedented.”
“The two Iranian ships, which began their voyage a few months ago, have now reached the Gulf of Finland and St. Petersburg waters,” said the Iranian Navy Chief.
The Iranian Navy chief also said that during his trip, he would meet with high-ranking Russian military and defense officials as well as their counterparts from the countries participating in the parade.
This is not Admiral Khanzadi’s first visit to Russia to participate in the Russian Navy Day parade, as the two countries have previously signed agreements on joint defense and naval military coordination. The Iranian and Russian navies have also conducted several joint exercises in the Caspian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Iranian Navy destroyer Sahand and accompanying support vessel Makran have already arrived in the Russian port city to join the parade.
Russian Minister of Defense General Sergey Shoygu previously announced that “54 ships, including frigates from India, Iran, and Pakistan, and more than 4,000 military personnel” would participate in the parade on the Russian Navy’s 325th anniversary.
This is the first time that the Iranian ships enter Atlantic waters under an announced “mission” after it set sail on May 20 from the Bandar Abbas Port toward South Africa, and then toward international waters in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Iranian ships’ presence raised concerns from the US navy, as officers and military officials commented on the matter multiple times. They also expected the Iranian ships to be heading toward Syria or Venezuela.