A senior official in the Iranian navy revealed Sunday that the Islamic Republic plans to extend its naval range to Mediterranean waters near Israel.
Rear Admiral Gholam-Reza Khadem Bigham says an Iranian fleet of warships will soon set sail for the Mediterranean and Red seas. It will be the first time Iranian ships stray so far from home.
Bigham says the move is part of a year-long drill. "In addition to the drill the fleet will also collect intelligence in the region," he was quoted by the Fars agency as saying.
The admiral did not say how many ships would participate in the drill. It remains unclear whether Egypt will allow the fleet to pass through the Suez Canal.
Bigham added that a fleet of submarines would also be launched soon, though the Islamic Republic is currently known to have just a small number of submarines with conventional abilities under its command.