Tehran (IP) - Commander of Iranian Army's Navy said that this force is self-sufficient on foreign-made weapons 

Iran Press/Iran News: Rear Admiral Hussein Khanzadi elaborated on the Navy's achievements, and missions in an exclusive interview with Iran Press and said that the navy is capable inside that doesn't need any foreign equipment.

The full text of the interview is as follow: 

The navy of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran is defined as a strategic force, what are the components of the strategic force of the Iranian Army's Navy?

The issue of the strategic nature of the navy dates back to 1988 (7/14/88). When the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei announced at the inauguration ceremony of the graduates of the Imam Khomeini Maritime University that today the navy is a strategic force in many parts of the world and in our country, and the navy should be viewed as a strategic force. In this regard, lots of researches were done in this area. We repeatedly follow the guidelines, so that it Stuck in our minds. The story is that the navy is a strategic force in nature. When we say strategic, we mean encompassing all big issues that have more comprehensive effects than one limited issue.

The strategy usually looks at distant horizons. The navy basically begins its mission beyond the national borders and must enter the sea to defend the borders. From the moment a fleet or warship leaves the dock and goes to sea, it enters the high seas and goes to the international environment, and its communication with other countries of the world is established by sea, and its discourse takes place in the international environment. And there, any behavior displayed by the navy is considered as representative of a nation and a state, and the behavior of that system. It is not like being seen inside a country like a soldier operating inside the borders of the country. The functions of the navy are extensive and global, which is why we say the Navy is strategic because its tactical actions have macro-strategic implications. That is, a bullet fired by a ship's weapon in the sea is like a bullet fired out of the shore, but here the audience is global and its effects are global.

 When the Navy is deployed to confront piracy in the oceans, it ensures the security of the country's maritime transportation lines to preserve the economy and national security, and it is used by both the countries of the region and the countries of the world. Therefore, the Navy has a scale of global impacts, and certainly, all these major regional and global impacts create a special regional and global status for the state and nation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and that is why it is said that the Navy is essentially strategic and has strategic functions.

Navy of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran has a main role in providing security in the seas, what is the importance of sending the Navy to various missions in far destinations and maritime diplomacy?

Our country is a maritime country, and it is basically a maritime country in which there is a maritime civilization, and maritime civilization refers to a nation for which the sea is the most important gateway to have communication with the world. Although we are a little far from this point, the reality is that our economy relies heavily on the sea. More than ninety percent of our basic goods are exported by sea, and a significant portion of imported goods (in exchange for sold goods or oil) are imported by sea. We are connected to all countries of the world by sea. This relationship today is largely governmental and somewhat via non-governmental players, and is partly related to the use of ordinary people.

Therefore, if we talk about the maritime economy for the Islamic Republic of Iran, we should know that the economy without security is like a mirage and it is easily destroyed. Therefore, maritime security is very important for the Islamic Republic of Iran, both in the maritime zones under its control and having offshore activities (such as oil exploration and subsoil exploration and fisheries activities and relocation and short-distance transportation) or in maritime areas beyond its sovereignty and it is supposed that these countries and vessels will pave the economic activity of the Islamic Republic of Iran with other countries.

Therefore, we see that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a country whose economy is connected to the sea, and its relations with other countries of the world are connected by the sea. The security of this economy and this maritime connection and communicating with neighbors through the sea is very important. For this reason, we also have a 24-hour presence of fleets and vessels in the maritime zones under our control, and they are active in naval patrols within the control areas on all shores of the southern fleet, whether in the Oman Sea, the Persian Gulf, or the Strait of Hormuz. The navies of the Islamic Republic of Iran are active.

The navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is also widely responsible for fully ensuring security in the Caspian Sea with a powerful fleet. In the south, exceptionally and exclusively, when we enter the high seas, we need to send special fleets. For more than ten years now, with the onset of piracy and the insecurity of the seas, our fleets have been dispatched to distant seas (the Gulf of Aden and the north of Indian Ocean, Red Sea, and Bab al-Mandeb Strait), and now seventy consecutive fleets have been deployed to the area around the clock. When we talk about the fleet, it means that at least two warships have been sent to this region, and between three hundred and five hundred of our colleagues are stationed in these areas 24 hours a day and are fighting piracy.

There have been many cases where piracies have been prevented for both Iranian and other ships, and everyone is taking advantage of the safe environment created. Anyone in the area is subject to ask for help, and it has happened in the past that even American merchant ships passing through the route have asked the Iranian Navy for help, and we are committed to keeping global roads open. And we did it for everyone to establish collective security at sea, and they benefited from that. Seventy fleets are present 24 hours a day, and this route is ongoing constantly.

The Navy holds various maneuvers with other countries, what is the regional and international massage of these maneuvers?

Drills usually take place between several countries in a geographical area. First, it means that those countries have interacted with each other at other levels, such as economic, cultural, social, etc., and have now reached a point where the military of those countries want to stand together and conduct tactical and military exercises at sea.

The form of the drills is simple and like what is done in an operation to ensure security and escort or to deal with a specific threat. Each of these countries has its own techniques and tactics.

Aligning these countries means that they seek to collectively provide security for that region or for the international community and for free navigation. It has a clear message to the world, and that is, we are together to establish security, and we all want security to provide a platform for maritime activities, and we will confront any source of insecurity. When several countries stand side by side, it means that they have common interests in that very geography and they hold these drills to achieve and secure their common interests. If anyone, willingly or unwillingly, seeks to establish a center of insecurity in that region, he will be confronted with the countries of that region which have the naval power and authority to establish the security.

What is the framework of Iran's Navy cooperation with China, Russia, and Persian Gulf states?

We have common security approaches with Chinese and Russian navies, and for all of us the maritime zones, especially the Indian Ocean, are important. It is also important for the Chinese to raise the issue of a "one belt, one road " in recent years. It forms a belt through the sea, and that way through the land revives the Silk Road, and through the sea, it forms a kind of maritime silk road that revives, passing through the North of Indian Ocean region.

The North of the Indian Ocean is the intersection of the lines that connect three major straits. The Strategic Strait of Global Energy (Strait of Hormuz), The strategic straits in the fields of economy and maritime transport, the Strait of Bab al-Mandeb and Malacca. When we connect these three straits, a triangle is formed from their connection, which in the North of the Indian Ocean and is called the "Golden Triangle".

More than a third of the world's maritime trade is done through this region, and ships pass through here and move goods, which is very important for Chinese and Russians, and also for us as these few corridors and strategic areas of movement of goods and energy so they are very important.

 That is why we started more serious cooperation with these countries last year, and the first joint naval exercise between Iran, Russia, and China was held last year, and agreements were reached with the commanders in this context, and now there are joint defense cooperation commissions. The annual holding of this conference is defined in the form of these commissions.

 Now, the Coronavirus condition has somewhat limited the scope for the development of this cooperation, but we, the military, believe that Coronavirus exists and in the coronavirus condition and while observing all health protocols, we must move towards the continuation of this cooperation and holding these drills in our program this year. It seems that the defense cooperation of these three countries at sea, especially in areas that are of great strategic and geo-economics value, is significant and makes it clear to others that there is no room for unilateralism and those who seek to implement the strategy of the security dilemma and complement power can no longer reach their goals and this strategy does not work. We must seek to establish security in the region collectively, which is in the interest of all.

After lifting Iran's arm embargo sanctions, to what extent Iran's navy army's equipment can compete at global markets, and do we need foreign equipment to empower them?

The issue of lifting sanctions is a hot topic these days and it has created sensitivity for others, but it is not very important for Iran's military, especially for the navy, because everything we needed as defensive weapons, we acquired and produced the technology, and we do not need foreign-made weapons in the field of surface and submarine vessels.

We got into issues that are unique to the region, and many countries in the region may still be dependent on other countries to have those weapons and equipment. This equipment is industrially produced today, such as launching missiles from under the sea, which is special and valuable, and this industrial production can be exported as a defense product, and others can also benefit from it. Of course, this issue goes back to the defense policies of the countries. Iran's arms sales are related to the defense policy of other countries that want to benefit. It is also important to note how much other countries can say no to the Americans and not look for their expensive products and focus on regional products and take full advantage of them. This is very much dependent on their policies.

Our country does not really need foreign equipment in the navy. In the near future, everyone will see that good things have happened in the army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and in the navy beyond what others think.

Iran's army and navy have gained knowledge of infrastructure and technology, which together regularly create new defensive products, and the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces have made great progress in every area. Knowledge-based companies are working diligently, and we have seen valuable achievements from knowledge-based companies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which are truly a source of pride. As a member of Iran's military, I say we are so capable inside that we do not need any foreign equipment.

What is the importance of the Army's abilities in various fields, such as submarines and destroyers based on indigenous knowledge?

The capabilities of the Navy are very important; First, we no longer buy products at high prices, instead of the currency going out of the country, domestic production takes place, local laborers are employed, and the benefits of the economic cycle are for the country and the people, and the currency does not exit the country.

Secondly, when a weapon is made inside the country, others do not know about it and do not know the capabilities of the country, and because they do not know, an uncertainty of Iranian equipment arises for them. It will be so effective in a crisis, conflict, or war, and sometimes we show limited capabilities of these weapons which makes others surprised, and they are always worried about what the capabilities of this weapon are, and this creates a special deterrence. However, the issue of deterrence is not important to us today, and we are so powerful that it has created deterrence.

 Third, we do not need foreign countries to supply spare parts for further supply and support, and one of the defense policies of countries with defense technology is that they may first sell a product at a relatively reasonable price, but when the customer needs the spare parts of the product, the spare parts are so expensive that the main interests of that seller are met at that time, that is, the spare part is sold expensively, and because that spare part must be procured in order to build a vessel, for example, this price is paid.

Today our security is indigenous security and this is very valuable. The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said that building a destroyer and taking control of the sea is power, even if there is no missile on it. Today, Iran's Navy equipped with various vessels and these vessels can carry different kinds of weapons, missiles, and helicopters; capabilities that we did not have before.

"Dena destroyer" is one of the indigenous achievements which will be unveiled in December, also Iran's first warship called "Macron" takes its final steps. What are the importance and details of these two projects?

 "Dena destroyer" is another national honor and is one of the products that the process of manufacturing has been ongoing for many years in in the Ministry of Defense under the Moj (Wave) project. Some of them are pursued by the Navy because there is very good construction capacity in the Navy.

 Two years ago, we witnessed the accession of the destroyer "Sahand" of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and then we saw "Fateh", and now "Dena" is joining, which is one of the "Moj"-class destroyers. As generations go forward and are repeated, the more technological progress has been made in the Islamic Republic of Iran, new technology has been used in these new destroyers. For example, in the field of propulsion, all the techniques and capacities used are indigenous, in the Navy and in the Ministry of Defense, and all that we have achieved in the field of propulsion, have been updated on Dena destroyer, which is incredible. The same is true in the field of weapons, and we have moved forward in the defense industry.

Missile power has always been one of the serious issues in the Armed Forces which today we have reached a variety of capabilities in producing different kinds of missiles that have given us the upper hand to choose a specific missile for each specific scenario. The IRGC's Navy picks one missile from the defensive arsenal, and Army's Navy the other one which complements each other. The Ground Force uses a specific missile and in the air force, another type and missile advances have been so good that they are used in this context. The technologies in the field of electronics and electromagnetic areas are also very advanced, all of which are installed on Dena destroyer at its highest level. It comes with a variety of sensors to monitor the environment, whether it is the sky, the sea level, or the sub-surface, i.e. airborne radar and fire control systems, surface monitoring radars as well as sonar that is supposed to monitor the submarine. Types of weapons that are used in an integrated war in three dimensions of land (submarine), sea, and sky, have been installed on this destroyer and we will see it with its accession in December.

About the "Makran" destroyer, I must point out that the Leader of the Islamic Revolution has always obliged us to pay attention to the capacities and facilities around at our disposal. These capacities are very much inside the country and there is no need to look abroad. In order to be able to be deployed in the distant seas without depending on others, we needed a big ship to be stationed at sea and, while providing security for itself, it must be able to provide all services that a destroyer receives when it returns to port. This means that the destroyer, which is 3,000 kilometers away from the borders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, no longer needs to be forced to return to the port for maintenance, and everything that happens to it at sea, even if it needs repairs, must be done at sea. Helicopter capacity and special operations are also planned for it, and Marine commandos with their equipment and weapons, including high-speed boats, will be stationed on the destroyer. UAV operations have also been envisaged, and it provides us a considerable amount of intelligence domination, all of which is to support the fleet operating in the remote area.

 This destroyer has been able to achieve a position by using internal capacities and the volume of a metal structure of approximately 900 tons (heavier than a destroyer) that six helicopters in different types, even the heaviest helicopter in the Islamic Republic of Iran can sit on its deck, which is unique and we previously did not have this possibility. All helicopters can sit on it and perform helicopter operations and even have the possibility of maintenance and refueling, and it is a great capacity that will join the Navy in December and help us have an upper hand in the distant seas.

What is the message and importance of the Navy's attendance in the Suez Canal as a waterway between the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean?

Our merchant ships that want to be connected to the west must cross the north of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, then the Bab al-Mandeb Strait and enter the Red Sea, cross the Suez Canal and enter the Mediterranean, as well as Gibraltar and then enter the Atlantic Ocean. In these routes, wherever the center of insecurity is formed, either the international community should help and secure the region for the benefit of the international community, or if necessary, the Islamic Republic exclusively provides security for a certain ship by its destroyers.

Since last year, we have seen sources of insecurity in the Red Sea region and even military attacks on ships. Those who carry out military attacks do not have the flags of a country with them, which means that these attacks are in the form of terrorism. They do it at night, and we think this is an area of ​​insecurity, and the ships that are important to us need to be escorted directly, which is what our fleets do.

The situation is the same in the Mediterranean. Egypt and the countries in that region must be more sensitive to this issue and play their regional role in establishing security in the region and do not allow such insecurities to occur. These insecurities are not in the interest of any country.

If a military alliance is formed somewhere and a group of other navies and naval vessels are present near the borders of another country that failed to provide security, it is usually not desirable for any country, but for now, the presence of the Iranian navy to escort vessels in the Red Sea and even the Mediterranean is a strategic and very important presence.

 Would you elaborate on the Islamic Republic of Iran's achievements in maritime fields?

In the past, everything we had was on loan. Whatever destroyers we had, we got from the Europeans or from the Americans, whatever supplies we had from the rest of the world, even after the revolution, the contracts were made before the revolution and the number of submarines and destroyers that were supposed to be handed over to the navy, this did not happen and the Islamic Republic was not interested and wanted to be self-sufficient and we were able to build it ourselves.

Our security at that time, when we had to have a self-sufficient and stable indigenous security, was conditioned security. If they gave us spare parts and equipment, we would enjoy security, and if they became enemies with us, that security would be destroyed. Even a bullet was imported from abroad. Today, thanks to the Islamic Revolution and the sanctions that were constructive for us and helped us become self-sufficient, today all military ships are built inside. Today, it is possible to build a destroyer in less than two years, which used to take 13 years in the past.

The efforts of the past years have shown us that great capacities are at our disposal and there are capabilities that can be used in building every piece of equipment at any time, whether in the form of a destroyer or a submarine. The ability to build torpedoes, submarines, mines, and launch missiles from under the sea is 100% indigenous. We also have a variety of missiles, artillery, and weapons on ships.


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