Iran has deployed Alvand and Bushehr destroyers in the Atlantic Ocean as part of its plans to expand naval presence in the international waters.
"For the first time, the 44th flotilla comprised of Alvand and Bushehr destroyers could sail around the African continent and enter the Atlantic Ocean," Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency on Monday.
"The two destroyers are now deployed in Durban Harbor (South Africa)," he added.
"In addition to that, 5 fleets of warships have also been sent to other countries so far with a message of peace and friendship." Sayyari added.
In 2014, Admiral Sayyari had announced the country's plans to deploy troops in the Atlantic Ocean. "The Iranian Navy will definitely be present in the Atlantic Ocean in the near future," Admiral Sayyari said during his meeting with foreign military attaches in Tehran at the time.
Conducting reciprocal visits to other countries, including the coastal countries of the Indian Ocean and the African countries, and exchanging naval visits and voyages are among the Navy's programs, he noted. "We are ready to hold joint naval drills with the neighboring countries as well," Admiral Sayyari said.
Recently, Iran’s Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for trade vessels and tankers.
The Iranian Navy has also been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.
According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.
The Gulf of Aden which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West via the Suez Canal.