Iran will start operating a new mine sweeping system in the Persian Gulf in coming days, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced after the US said it plans to conduct mine sweeping exercises with tens of its allied naval forces in the region.
Iranian Navy Chief, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari
Speaking to reporters at a press conference held on the sidelines of a coordination meeting of Navy organs and units on Saturday, Rear Admiral Sayyari blasted the US for its Iranophobia plots, and said the Pentagon uses such drills to launch media hype against Iran, but its allies eventually leave it alone when the time arrives for action.
"As Americans have declared, they plan to carry out joint mine sweeping drills with around 30 world countries, but these measures are all line with (their) Iranophobia" plans, he said.
The Admiral further reminded a similar US Navy plan for conducting joint exercises with 26 world countries in the Persian Gulf, and said the number of participating nations later decreased to 6 and "at the end no country took part in the drills except for the US and Britain".
Remote minesweeper used by the Canadian Navy
Yet, he said Iran will not sit silent when the enemy troops embark on staging maneuvers in the region.
"This week we will bring into operation a mine sweeping system that we are now working on so that if the trans-regional enemies take a (hostile) move in this region, we could be able to sweep the seabed," the Iranian Navy commander said.
Last month, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced Tehran's readiness to share its mine-sweeping experiences and expertise with other countries on humanitarian grounds.
He noted that Iran sustained heavy damages during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war due to excessive use of mines and cluster bombs by Saddam's military forces, and said that the Iranian mine-sweeping experts are prepared to provide assistance to other countries in mine-sweeping area.
Brigadier General Vahidi said mines and cluster munitions, characterized by failure to discriminate civilians and non-civilians, not only cause extreme pain for the military men but also civilians during war, leaving negative impact on the environment and human communities after the war ends.
... Payvand News - 05/04/13 ... --