Iranian warships near the Australia’s exclusive economic zone

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Two warships of the Iranian Navy have begun a show of force. The two warships, the IRIS Makran and the frigate IRIS Dena, respectively, left Iranian waters and embarked on a show of force by embarking on a circumnavigation of the globe. This was announced shortly after their departure by the head of Iran’s naval forces, saying that the world will see the authority of the Iranian navy.

Iranian warships near the Australia's exclusive economic zone
Photo credit: Twitter

Australia has already announced that the Royal Australian Navy [RAN] is very closely monitoring exactly what the two warships are doing in the South Pacific area they have already passed through. This was confirmed by a Royal Navy spokesman, who said surveillance was continuing. “Defence has been aware of two Iranian warships operating in the Indo-Pacific for some time,” was the official press release from Australia’s Ministry of Defence.

The media in Australia logically ask the question of whether the two Iranian warships do not threaten Australia’s exclusive economic zone, due to their “very close passage” of the end of the zone. The reason is dictated by the practice of another adversary – China, which prefers its warships after leaving the Indonesian maritime zone to head towards Australia’s exclusive economic zone in the Arafura Sea, as happened last year.

However, Iran’s two warships did not do so. After passing Indonesia, they changed course and headed for the Philippine Sea. The RAN was quick to reassure the Australians, announcing in a released press release that no Iranian warship had ever passed through Australia’s exclusive economic zone, nor threatened it, before or now. Australia’s sailors have confirmed that, historically, no communication has even been made with Tehran’s warships.

Unlike Australia, France was quick to make contact with the two warships as they announced their intention to pass just below the remote Marquesas Islands. Paris then ordered a Falcon 200 to closely monitor the actions of Iranian ships and what they were doing in the EEZ of French Polynesia.

Iranian warships near the Australia's exclusive economic zone
Photo credit: Twitter

However, some military analysts predict this will not be the first naval visit by Iran near Australia. Most likely, former senior Australian naval officers say, the two warships are the start of routine annual Iranian naval operations near Australia. This show of force by Iran shows that Tehran has no intention of reducing its spending on its naval equipment and its presence in the region.

At the same time, analysts say that such long-distance voyages are a kind of experiment for Iran. They want to know how far they can go, some experts say, stressing the fact that Tehran’s priority remains the Persian Gulf.

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