Iran's semi-official news agency Fars reported Tuesday that Tehran has sent submarines to the Red Sea, in what is the first such deployment by Iran's Navy
in distant waters.
Fars gave no details on the number or capabilities of the submarines, saying only that they were sailing alongside warships of the Navy's 14th fleet.
The report reflects Iran's
efforts to show off its naval power. Iran has long sought to upgrade its air defense systems and navy to portray itself as a regional military superpower, as well as prepare for any possible future attacks against the country.
Tuesday's report noted that the submarines were on an "intelligence gathering mission in international waters," and aim to identify foreign warships; adding that the submarines accompanied Iranian warships on an anti-piracy route in the Gulf of Aden before they moved into the Red Sea.
"Iranian military submarines entered the Red Sea waters with the goal of collecting information and identifying other countries' combat vessels," Fars said.
State-run Press TV said in May that the 14th fleet, comprised of two vessels, the Bandar Abbas warship and Shahid Naqdi destroyer, had been sent to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
"The fleet entered the Gulf of Aden region in May and has now entered the Red Sea in the continuation of its mission," Fars said.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to the report