Iran’s new Sahand destroyer is seen alongside the country’s national flag in a photo by the Iranian navy (Photo Credit: ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN NAVY)
Ships from the Iranian Navy have docked in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil headed toward the Panama Canal as the US scrambles for solutions, Al-Mayadeen reported on 28 January.
Following Tehran’s announcement that its navy would deploy ships in the waterway earlier in January, the US is closely monitoring Iran’s activity in the Panama Canal, according to US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who talked to The Washington Free Beacon on Friday.
Washington is monitoring “Iran’s attempts to have a military presence in the Western Hemisphere,” Price said.
Price refused to discuss any prospective measures the Biden administration would take on this matter or the position of Washington over Iran’s expanding military presence.
Earlier this week, the Brazilian Navy said that the two Iranian warships, one equipped with “anti-ship cruise missiles, torpedoes, and naval guns,” were permitted to dock in Brazil.
In recent years, as part of the nation’s economic program, Iran has been fortifying its connections with Latin American nations, most notably Venezuela.
Given that both Iran and Venezuela have a history of suffering from painful sanctions imposed by the US and its allies, Iranian ships have docked in Venezuela more frequently.
Rear Admiral Shahram Irani, the head of Iran’s navy, said earlier in January that Iranian forces would arrive in the Panama Canal later this year, marking the first time Iran’s armed forces had reached the Pacific.
On 28 January, the commander of the Iranian army fleet announced that several new maritime combat helicopters have been developed and will be revealed soon.
Rear Admiral Irani stated that the sea might serve as the focal point of the nation’s development while referencing the crucial significance of the nation’s maritime capabilities in an interview with Mehr news.
“There is a great opportunity for the development of the country by sea for Iran. The countries that do not have this capacity are experiencing geopolitical suffocation,” the senior commander added.
He emphasized that the Makran coast in southern Iran played a crucial part in achieving sea-based development and that “we must harness” the sea’s capabilities to build a new Iranian-Islamic culture.