US spox reacts to presence of Iranian naval fleet in Atlantic

TEHRAN, Jun. 11 (MNA) – Despite the US claims of supporting the freedom of navigation based on international law, Ned Price said the US is ready to respond to the presence of the Iranian naval fleet in the Atlantic if these laws are violated.

The US State Department spokesman Ned Price would not speculate on what the vessels were carrying, saying only “that if this is an effort to transfer weapons or otherwise to violate its international obligations we would be prepared to respond.”

“We have seen the press reports regarding this movement,” Price said. “We’re prepared to leverage our applicable authorities, including sanctions, against any actor that enables Iran’s ongoing provision of weapons to violent partners into proxies.”

Deputy Chief of Iran's Army for Coordination announced on Thurs. that an Iranian naval fleet, comprising Sahand destroyer and Makran ship has left Iran for the Atlantic Ocean for the first time without mooring in other countries' ports.

"We consider presence in international waters as the inalienable right of the Navy of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and we will continue this path with authority," said Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari on Thursday.

"The 77th strategic naval fleet of the Navy, comprising of the 'Sahand' destroyer and the 'Makran' ship, is present in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time to demonstrate the capabilities of Iran in the maritime arena," he added.

"The fleet departed from Bandar Abbas on May 10 and after a long journey after thirty days of navigation and crossing the Cape of Good Hope, traveling 6,000 nautical miles (nearly 12,000 kilometers), is currently in the Atlantic Ocean," Sayyari said. "The fleet continues on its longest naval mission to the North Atlantic."

HJ/Al-Alam5643343

News Code 174632

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