The semi-official Fars News Agency reported today that Iran has sent submarines to the Red Sea in the first such deployment by the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) in distant waters.
The report quoted an unnamed senior government official as saying the submarines accompanied Iranian warships on an anti-piracy route in the Gulf of Aden before they moved into the Red Sea earlier this month.
“The submarines, dispatched in Ordibehesht (last month), have entered the Red Sea after a mission in the Gulf of Aden to collect data on the sea bed in the high seas and to identify other warships,” Fars quoted the unnamed source. “They are accompanying an Iranian navy fleet,” [Fars News Agency, 7 June].
No other details on the number or capabilities of the submarines were available. IRIN has several types of submarines, including the 500-ton Nahang as well as older Kilo-class older Russian subs. Last year, Iran inaugurated of a new “semi-heavy” submarine, named Qaem, capable of operating in the high seas. IRIN also operates midget submarines of 120-ton Ghadir class.