MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA Iranian Chief Visits Russian Naval Forces OE Watch Commentary: Hossein Khanzadi assumed command of the regular Iranian navy in November 2017. Since then, he has slowly been seeking to leave his mark on a branch of the military which is both increasingly central to Iranian force projection and has experienced major equipment problems in recent years. Increasingly, it appears that naval cooperation between Tehran and Moscow is becoming an important component of already burgeoning - ties. While Russia and Iran have long had maritime relations in the Caspian Sea, Khanzadi’s prominent appearance at Russian festivities in St. Petersburg on 28 July—a report of which is excerpted in Iran’s conservative Fars News Agency—suggests both that Iran and Russia value their military cooperation. Russian support for the Iranian Navy could Admiral Khanzadi attending Day festivities in St. Petersburg, 28 July 2019. take many forms: Iran’s indigenous ships Source: Fars News Agency, https://media.farsnews.com/Uploaded/Files/Images/1398/05/07/13980507000677_Test_NewPhotoFree.jpg have proven unreliable and could benefit from Russian equipment or upgrades. Russia might provide resupply and other logistical support. In 2016, for example, an Iranian flotilla failed to make it into the Atlantic Ocean, ran out of supplies, and was forced into port in Durban, South Africa, for emergency repairs. While the Sisi regime in Egypt has prevented Iranian naval vessels from transiting the Suez Canal, Russia could send supply ships based at Tartus in into the Red Sea to extend the Iranian ships’ deployment durations. The Russian Navy might also cooperate with Iran in updating the Islamic Republic’s aging submarine fleet. Of special interest to analysts should be any reports of Russian weapons sales to Iran generally and the Iranian navy specifically, not only because of the weaponry itself, but also because the Iranian military quite openly brags about its desire and capability to reverse-engineer weaponry and military platforms. (Also see: “Iran’s Navy Expands Operational Range,” in the January 2013 issue of OE Watch, “Iran-Russia Relations,” in the July 2016 issue of OE Watch and “Iran: Warship Sinks After Mishap,” in the March 2018 issue of OE Watch.) End OE Watch Commentary (Rubin)

“Khanzadi attended the Russian Navy Day celebration in St. Petersburg.”

Source: “Bazdid Daryadar Khanzadi az Nawgan Niru-ye Darya-ye Russiya” (Admiral Khanzadi Visits Russian Naval Forces),” Fars News Agency, 29 July 2019. https://www.farsnews.com/news/13980507000787

Iranian Navy Chief Visits Russian Naval Forces The Chief of Naval Forces of the regular military of the Islamic Republic of Iran was standing on the sidelines of a ceremony for the Russian Federation Naval Forces. Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, the Commander of the Naval Forces of regular military for the Islamic Republic of Iran traveled to Russia to participate in the ceremony and saw the country’s naval forces. Khanzadi, who led the military delegation, attended the Russian Navy Day celebration in St. Petersburg. More than 20 countries were present. He spoke with their commanders during a visit to the Russian destroyers.

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