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By Hossein Aryan | for Jane's Defence Weekly
Iran has signalled its intention to increase its naval presence along the coast of the Gulf of Oman and up to the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil conduit, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.
The commander of the navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Military (IRIM), Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, said: "A new line of defence has been established to the east of the Strait of Hormuz ... and if necessary we can prevent any enemy ship from entering the Persian Gulf."
Adm Sayyari was speaking at the October 2008 opening ceremony of a new naval base at Jask, a small fishing port about 300 km to the east of the port city of Bandar Abbas.
The high-profile deputy commander of the IRIM's navy, Brigadier General Abdolrahim Musavi, echoed these sentiments at the naval base's inauguration.
"The mastery of the Islamic republic is reaching the Indian Ocean. ... Today, the enemy is watching how a country, subjected to 30 years of sanctions, is making headway in all domains. ... The time of bullying and unilateralism, encirclement and invasion has come to an end. ... The sooner they understand this the better, otherwise they will have to pay a heavy price," he said.
Gen Musavi told reporters that, at one time, aircraft carriers "terrorised" countries along their route, but today they are, as with "the elements of computer games", under the gaze of Iran's armed forces.
The following day, while inspecting Iran's main naval bases in Bandar Abbas, Adm Sayyari said that, in line with the new mission of the navy, which is to build an "impenetrable line" of defence along the coast of the Gulf of Oman, new naval bases will be rapidly constructed from Bandar Abbas, which occupies a strategic position on the Strait of Hormuz, to Pasa Bandar, near the Pakistani border.