Iran Plans to Send Warships into Atlantic, Pushing Closer to US Waters

In this picture taken on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, and released by the semi-official Fars News Agency, Iranian warship Alborz, foreground, prepares before leaving Iran's waters. (AP Photo/Fars News Agency, Mahdi Marizad)
In this picture taken on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, and released by the semi-official Fars News Agency, Iranian warship Alborz, foreground, prepares before leaving Iran's waters. (AP Photo/Fars News Agency, Mahdi Marizad)

The Iranian navy plans to deploy warships into the Atlantic Ocean, a senior Iranian commander announced Friday.

Iranian warships will set sail for the Atlantic in March, Rear Adm. Touraj Hassani, Iran's naval deputy commander, told state media IRNA, adding that Iran's new stealth destroyer -- the Sahand -- could be a part of the naval flotilla deployed to the Atlantic for a five-month operation.

Iran launched the domestically produced destroyer at the start of December. At that time, Hassani suggested that Iran may send two to three warships to Venezuela.

The announcement comes as Iran bristles at the presence of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

The USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier is currently operating in the Persian Gulf, its presence specifically intended as a deterrent for hostile Iranian activities.

And Iran's not pleased. "We will not allow Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to come near our territorial waters in the Persian Gulf," Iranian Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari warned in December.

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