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You're reading: Iran deploys Russian-made submarine in Gulf

TEHRAN — Tehran has deployed one of its Russian-made submarines in the Persian Gulf, just days after the United States and more than two dozen allies began naval exercises nearby, Iranian state television reported Tuesday.

Taregh-1 joined the Iranian fleet in the southern port of Bandar Abbas
after it was overhauled earlier this year, according to the TV report.
It’s one of three Russian Kilo class submarines that Iran obtained in the early 1990s.

In May, Iran redeployed another Russian-made submarine after repairs.

report also showed the launch of what was said to be the partially
completed hull of a destroyer, the Sahand, which the TV said is expected
to be ready in the near future.

Both launches came under the
command of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who has final say
on all state matters. He said Iran has no intention of invading other

“The armed forces should be upgraded in a way that no
one will be able to violate the reinforced fortress of Iran,” Khamenei
said during a visit Tuesday to a naval base in northern Iranian port of

Tehran has tried to build a self-sufficient military program since 1992 and has several smaller Iranian-built submarines.

announcement came two days after U.S.-led naval exercises got under way
in the waters of the Persian Gulf. They are the largest such maneuvers
aimed at countering sea mines ever to take place in the region.

officials insist the exercises, which include a symposium followed by
at-sea maneuvers launching later this week, are defensive in nature and
not directed at any particular country.

But the U.S.-led drills
are seen as a response to Iranian warnings earlier this year it could
close the strategic oil route in the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for
tighter Western sanctions. Tehran has since stepped back from such

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast
reacted to the U.S.-led maneuvers by denouncing the presence of foreign
powers in the region.

“The root of insecurity in the region is the
military presence of Western and foreign powers which easily trample
the interests of countries of the region to secure their own interests
and provoke instability and insecurity,” he said.

The U.S. and its
allies suspect Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, a charge Iran denies.
Iran says its nuclear activities are aimed at peaceful purposes like
power generation and cancer treatment.

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