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Leader Hails IRGC, Army's Mighty Presence in PG

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, July 23 (ICANA) – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei praised the military might and power of the Iranian Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and said the two pillars of Iran's defensive power are well capable of defending the country's interests in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.
Saturday, July 23, 2011 10:11:35 PM
Leader Hails IRGC, Army's Mighty Presence in PG

"The Navy and the IRGC forces are the symbols of the Iranian nation's might in defending the interests of the country in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman," Ayatollah Khamenei said after visiting the Navy's first naval zone in the Southern Hormozgan province on Saturday.

He further blasted the arrogant powers for their attempts to prevent the presence of the Iranian Navy in the regional and international waters, and described presence in international waters as a great and strategic opportunity for all nations and countries, underlining that no world country or power has the right to prevent other states' presence in international waters.

"The interests and the possibilities of these seas belong to all nations," Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated.

Ayatollah Khamenei asked the naval forces of the Iranian Army and the IRGC to double their efforts to make up for Iran's longtime backwardness under the former Pahlavi regime.

The Iranian Army and the IRGC have recently test-fired different types of newly-developed missiles and torpedoes and tested a large number of its home-made weapons, tools and equipments, including submarines, military ships, artillery, choppers, aircraft, UAVs and air defense and electronic systems, during massive military drills.

Defense analysts and military observers say that Iran's wargames and its advancements in weapons production have proved as a deterrent factor, specially at a time of heightened threats by the US.

Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.

Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country's military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.

Iran's naval power has even been acknowledged by foes. In a Sep. 11, 2008 report, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy also said that in the two decades since the Iraqi imposed war on Iran, the Islamic Republic has excelled in naval capabilities and is able to wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces.

According to the report, Iran's Navy has been transformed into a highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-financed force and is effectively in control of the world's oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz.

The study says that if Washington takes military action against the Islamic Republic, the scale of Iran's response would likely be proportional to the scale of the damage inflicted on Iranian assets.

The Islamic Republic's top military officials have repeatedly warned that in case of an attack by either the US or Israel, the country would target 32 American bases in the Middle East and close the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

An estimated 40 percent of the world's oil supply passes through the waterway.

A recent study by a fellow at Harvard's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Caitlin Talmadge, warned that Iran could use mines as well as missiles to block the strait, and that "it could take many weeks, even months, to restore the full flow of commerce, and more time still for the oil markets to be convinced that stability had returned".

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