[R-G] Iran Building Naval Bases up to Strait of Hormuz
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Thu Oct 30 09:09:40 MDT 2008
Iran building naval bases up to Strait of Hormuz
Thu 30 Oct 2008, 7:18 GMT
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has begun building a line of naval bases along
its southern coast and up to the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to
the strategic Gulf oil waterway, the Tehran Times quoted an Iranian
commander as saying.
Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said the bases were being built on the
Sea of Oman coast from Pasa Bandar, near the Pakistan border, to
Bandar Abbas, Iran's major port on the Strait of Hormuz, the
English-language newspaper reported on Thursday.
He did not say when work would be completed.
Sayyari this week opened a naval port at Jask, which is also along the
Sea of Oman, Iranian media reported.
"The new mission of the navy is to build an impenetrable line of
defence at the entrance to the Sea of Oman," Sayyari said in Hormuzgan
province in south Iran, the Tehran Times reported.
"If the enemy goes insane, we will drown them at the bottom of the
Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman before they reach the Strait of
Hormuz and the entrance to the Persian Gulf," he said.
Iran has threatened to close the strait, the sea route through which
two-fifths of the world's globally traded oil passes, if the United
States attacked. Iranian officials have often said Washington would be
foolish to contemplate an attack.
Washington is embroiled in a row over Tehran's nuclear work, which the
West says is aimed at making an atomic bomb, a charge Iran denies. The
U.S. administration has said it wants diplomacy to resolve the row but
has not ruled out military action.
Military experts say Iran's armed forces cannot match U.S. military
technology but could still cause havoc on shipping routes,
particularly using small craft for hit-and-run attacks.
(Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Louise Ireland)
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