12 Jul 2013 11:19
TEHRAN, July 9 (Bernama) -- Iran's naval forces have started a five-day exercise in the Caspian Sea, Xinhua news agency reported quoting a local media report. Northern military fleet commander Khordad Hakimi said that the exercise dubbed "Sustainable Security 92" began in Iran's territorial waters across the port cities of Astara, Noshahr and Bandar Anzali. The Press TV said the drill aims to improve the readiness of Iran's naval forces, protect naval routes, provide security for merchant ships and tankers, as well as prepare military and port facilities against possible threats. Hakimi said the exercise will also convey the message of peace and friendship to other countries. In 2009, Iran and Russia carried out their first joint naval maneuvers in the Caspian Sea involving some 30 vessels. Iran recently dispatched two indigenously-built missile-launching warships, Joshan (Shield) and Paykan (Arrow), to the Russian port city of Astrakhan in a move aimed at consolidating friendly ties between Tehran and Moscow. --BERNAMA EE