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has been inevitable that the Iranian navy would make good on its promise to
deploy to the Atlantic.Its ships
made a voyage to China in 2013, and have been conducting extended
patrols in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea since late 2008.An Atlantic expedition has been by no
means beyond Iran’s capabilities for some time now.
isn’t clear yet what route the ships will take. The route through the Suez Canal and
Mediterranean would normally be the most likely.On either route (the other being a
southerly course around Africa), the ships would need to be able to stop
somewhere to refuel.Iran will
presumably want to show the flag as well: stop for real port visits, diplomatic
events, and orchestrated recreation.Potential venues for that in the Mediterranean include Malta and Algeria;
ports in Egypt, Syria, and even Montenegro, although unlikely, are not out of
the question.On the southern and
western coasts of Africa, possible stops include Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana,
Mauritania, and Senegal, all of which Iran has positive relations with.Nairobi is also a possibility; like
South Africa, Kenya would make a higher-profile, politically interesting
objective will presumably be to visit Cuba and Venezuela, and possibly Nicaragua
and even Ecuador as well.The
Iranian ships would have time to make that circuit in the three months they plan
to be deployed.
regular readers know, Iran will be joining the Russia and China club in sending warships on
deployments to Latin America.The
Iranian ships aren’t particularly capable; Sabalan and Kharg have been the go-to platforms for
long voyages, because they’re the only ones Iran has that can handle the
extended deployments.The depth
isn’t there, in the Iranian order of battle, for the Islamic Revolutionary
Iranian Navy to make a habit of this kind of thing.
it’s a measure of Iran’s seriousness about her geopolitical plans.And she has other ways of reaching into
the Western hemisphere, ... [See rest at links]