The remarks made by General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, and reported on November 27 by the daily Shargh, will not fail to cause a reaction.
“We need distant bases and this may become possible one day on the coasts of Yemen or Syria, or by using islands or floating bases” in the Arabian-Persian Gulf , Before explaining that such rights-of-way would be “much more useful than having nuclear weapons”.
“When two-thirds of the world’s population lives near the coast and the global economy depends on the sea, we need to take action, although it takes time to get through these steps,” Baqeri said.
This is the first time that an Iranian military official has evoked the idea of establishing naval bases in other countries. As a reminder, the Iranian regime is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Houthis rebels in Yemen facing a coalition led by Saudi Arabia.
However, General Baqeri’s remarks were criticized by Saleh al-Samad, the head of the Houthis political council. “Not one inch of territory of Yemen, on land or on sea, will be abandoned to a foreign party (…), be it friend or enemy,” he reacted, via a communiqué broadcast on social networks .
In July 2011, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, affirmed that “maritime space offers a great strategic opportunity to different countries and peoples because the opportunities and interests offered by these seas belong to all The nations of the world. “ He added that “the naval forces of the army and the body of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution were the symbol of the authority of the Iranian nation in defending the interests of our country in the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea. ‘Oman. “
A position he reaffirmed at the reception of key leaders of the Iranian naval forces on 27 November. “The navy must … be powerful and have a dignified capacity” of the Islamic Republic, said ayatollah Khamenei.