Dr. Seyed Alireza Behbahani – Specialist in Modern Diplomacy
PEJOURNAL – We are a naval state and we have a navy that defends our resources, interests and borders. We have had a strong navy throughout history, the Supreme Leader said: “There was a time we were at sea and traveling all over the world, and nowadays there are those in the sea that didn’t even exist back then, and now what have happened that they have come and we are absent.”
The sea is a source of power and wealth, and Anglo-Saxons and colonialists throughout history have barred any country other than themselves from being in the open waters for this reason.
Throughout history, we have seen that the power of any country is reduced to both land and sea, and the air force is added later in time.
If they want to deprive a country of its God-given wealth and resources, they will block its communication with the sea. Over time, they drove us away from the sea and turned the beautiful beaches that caused the country’s power, wealth and progress into a scorched earth.
One third of our country’s borders are the sea. We have three types of sea borders; The Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Makran, or the Sea of Oman, are among our most important maritime borders. From these sea borders we connect to the free waters and connect with the world.
In the national field, we see countries that are thousands of miles apart but own a navy and would call each other neighbors, just as Argentina called Iran its neighbor in the exercise of the world’s powerful navies in Italy!
Before the revolution, we had a navy that had relatively good equipment, but the problem was that it was western and had complete dependence on the west. Our mission at the time was to designate the coastal navy. We did not operate in the Caspian Sea, but in the Persian Gulf and east of the Strait of Hormuz to the south of Chabahar, which was known as the Coastal Navy or Brown-Water Navy or Traditional Navy.
But today, by being in global waters, we are considered a full-fledged navy, and we are recognized as an effective force in the world’s naval map, and this has helped to develop our military defenses beyond conventional borders.
Each maritime country must have six characteristics; Its geographical location, physical characteristics, maritime and territorial extent, and its suitable population and characteristics that are befitting for the sea, and its government policy should be maritime. So the sea position and the physical characteristics and breadth are the three attributes that God has given us, and these three things are our strengths and we have had other things, but colonialism has taken us away from the sea, the sea is the place of wealth and power, although we were wealthy in this matter. But over time, colonialism has diverted us from having God’s blessings at sea, and we have been less able to benefit.
In any case, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, our navy flourished. With the victory of the revolution, we had entered the holy defense. In the holy defense, history and legends are created in the navy that were unbelievable to everyone; Like the 34-day epic of Khorramshahr created by the Marines. For example, after the Khorramshahr defense epic, we had the history of Zolfaghari alley. We prevented the complete siege of Abadan, and all these successful operations were carried out by sea. On 1987, our Navy was able to defeat and defeat the Iraqi counterpart. These issues have been widely reported worldwide. Iraq was under siege, the Iraqi navy was destroyed, ports were besieged, Iraqi oil exports were cut off, and other damage was done to Iraq. After the holy defense, we continued in this path, We escorted the ships, changed the country’s economy, and maintained the oil rigs. At sea, maintaining our maritime borders, resources and interests was on the agenda. In the Holy Defense, we proudly went through these stages by carrying out various operations. Then we entered the field of ship and boat repair unit. We repaired and purchased parts and minor repairs. We came forward step by step so that the Supreme Leader’s plan was to build a destroyer. It was in 1997 in Bandar Abbas that his words became the source of our work and activities. In 1998, in the Caspian Sea, they again tried to build a missile launcher. That’s when we started building the ship. We proceeded with the production line of the missile ship and the production line of the destroyer with speed and accuracy.
In 1992-1993, we had access to the submarine. Until then, we had no submarines at all. We repaired and built the submarine. A good result was obtained from these activities. In 1999 the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in Nowshahr said at the Student Learning Ceremony that In the countries of the world and in our country, the navy is a strategic force and should be viewed as such, with this word we came to lead ourselves.
A strategic navy is a force that can maintain security. The Supreme Leader stated: “A strong navy is a manifestation of the nation’s authority.”
That’s when our repair power went up. We started renovating. We saw that we could sail. We worked on raising the right manpower.
Today, the Iranian Navy has sent more than 50 combat fleets and seven or eight peace and friendship fleets. Of course, the warship also had peace and friendship on its side. We have traveled to more than 60 ports around the world. We may have visited some ports five or six times, and the country’s maritime diplomacy has developed in this way, and today the Iranian navy is quite strategic. The country’s economy has been completely preserved in the seas and open waters, and the navy has become the epitome of the Iranian nation’s authority in the seas. Iran’s oil, which is due to the same strategic development of the Iranian Navy and ensures Iran’s national security in the world. Today, the Iranian Navy is present in parts of the world that if there is any aggression against our country, we will confront the aggressor. We will do that, and that means expanding borders to increase national security.
Today, the Iranian Navy bypasses the South China Sea, Pacific Ocean, Red Sea, Suez Canal, Mediterranean, South India, Africa and is located in the Atlantic, each of these areas goes beyond the meaning of conquering a country, and a separate article can be written about the importance of each of these.
Joint naval exercises between the two leading powers, China and Russia, and the integration of their naval policies as strategic partners of the country have no meaning other than Iran’s full influence on global waters!
In the field of trade and economic diplomacy, the cheapest way is to reduce transportation costs by sea and open waters, and this is one of the reasons for the disputes over the seas, because Economic development and exports are meaningless without having maritime transport lines, and the security of these same transport lines can only be provided by the navy.
In the field of distribution chain and geopolitical system, today we see that there are serious theories to change the routes of transport through the pole, and that is why everyone is trying to find the way to the polar waters, and the Russian navy has deployed submarines in the region, and countries that can control the waters of the Arctic region are in control of the world’s future transportation economy, as current routes will not be justified by the opening of such a line, and today Iran, Russia and China are the three serious allies in the region.
According to international conventions, open waters mean that they belong to everyone, as if the Americans were dissatisfied with our presence in the Gulf of Mexico, and we declared that we could be present in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and they made no defense of this claim, but the important thing is who would put up the first step and what force is more powerful in a sea.
Our interests require us to be present in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandeb, It is in our interest to make our way to the west of Syria by sea, and this means that our national security perspective will penetrate wherever the open waters allow.
Today, if a country has a development perspective, it is impossible not to think about the development of its navy and marine fleet, Given the country’s development plan, the Iranian navy will undoubtedly have serious plans so that we can be the maritime civilization of ancient Iran, and what we had centuries ago is the most important strategy of the world’s navies today, and as Europeans would say: The present century is the century of the seas!
Our presence in the high seas is a thorn in the side of our enemies, and this will be a deterrent to aggression.
The economic diplomacy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been and will be very effective due to the development of our maritime diplomacy and the serious relationship with the navies of the world, because just as our navy is very effective in our national security and the system’s strategic plans, the same is true in other countries.
In any case, the more pressure and sanctions there are, the greater the enthusiasm of the youth of this region and the patriotic soldiers of the country to work harder.
We are standing until the last drop of blood and in the hope of a prosperous and proud Iran.