An Iranian naval officer said a number of warships have been ordered to approach U.S. maritime borders as a response to the stationing of American vessels in the Gulf, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
The move could be seen as an attempt by the government to appease hard-liners as the country tries to forge closer diplomatic ties with the United States and the West, analysts said. Iran is currently meeting with the U.N. nuclear agency to discuss the country’s nuclear program.
“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message,” the agency quoted Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad as saying.
Haddad, described as commander of the Iranian navy’s northern fleet, said the vessels had started their voyage toward the Atlantic Ocean via “waters near South Africa,” Fars reported.
Fars said the plan was part of “Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf.”