Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has hailed the round-the-globe mission by the Iranian Navy’s 86th flotilla of warships as “a momentous glory in Iran’s maritime history,” insisting that the great achievement is the “sweet fruit” of sacrifices made by honorable martyrs of the country’s naval forces.
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks on Sunday while addressing the commanders and crew as well as the families of the Iranian Navy’s 86th flotilla, which accomplished its round-the-world voyage and entered the Iranian territorial waters in May.
The Leader said the Navy’s presence in remote waters such as the Pacific and Atlantic oceans contribute to national security.
“The United States and other superpowers monopolize general issues pertaining to mankind. If they could, those powers would even claim the seas in their name so that others would not have access to the natural resource,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.
“However, by your presence and your vigilance in countering their hostile behavior in order to thwart your voyage, you proved that the high seas belong to all.”
The Leader pointed to the obstacles created by the US in maritime transportation, saying it made no sense for them to claim they would not allow ships to pass through certain straits.
“The sea and space must remain free for all nations and security of shipping and maritime transport must be ensured for all,” the Leader stated.
Ayatollah Khamenei censured the US for targeting oil tankers and aiding smugglers in the region and beyond, saying such measures constitute a serious breach of international humanitarian norms.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader said the successful mission of the 86th flotilla resulted from “hard work, determination, self-confidence, advanced military know-how, efficient management and courage as well as endurance in the face of difficulties.”
The Leader honored the flotilla and its personnel, comprising domestically-manufactured Dena destroyer and Makran forward base ship.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the flotilla’s sailing of virtually 65,000 kilometers in about eight months was “unprecedented in the history of Iranian seafaring.”
“The profound job done by the flotilla should not be taken for granted and seen as merely a military and naval operation given the invaluable lessons learned from the voyage,” the Leader stated.
Ayatollah Khamenei said by accomplishing the mission the 86th flotilla “elevated the level of the country’s military capabilities.”
Considering the fact that virtually 90 percent of global trade is conducted via maritime transport. the Leader said, Iranian officials need to work for the better use of maritime capacities of the Islamic Republic in order to serve national interests.