TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran is mass producing light submarines, a senior Navy commander announced on Tuesday, adding that the country is also building semi-heavy submarines at present.
"Iran is mass producing light submarines," Commander of the Iranian Army's 4th Naval Zone Admiral Khordad Hakimi told FNA in the Northern port city of Anzali on Tuesday. The commander further pointed to the Iranian Navy's advancements, saying that "semi-heavy submarines are now under construction in Southern Iran". He further described the Iranian Navy as a strategic force, and said the power and capabilities of the Islamic Republic'sNavy play a very influential role in protecting the country's interests both at home and abroad. Admiral Hakimi, who is the Navy's senior commander in Iran'sCaspian province of Gilan, said the Navy's training centers have been equipped with state-of-the-art technology which is updated on a regular basis. "The training centers of the Iranian Navy are unique in the Middle-East." The admiral said "the Iranian Navy is increasing and expanding its fleet", adding that the quality of all the tools and equipment needed by the Navy are enhanced by domestic experts. He also pointed to the construction of Iranian Destroyer Damavand, and said "experts from all industrial fields are involved in the construction of this vessel which is a mega-system". Hakimi had also announced on Monday that the Iranian Navy plans to launch one of its advanced home-made destroyers, named Damavand, in the country's Northern territorial waters in the near future. "The destroyer, Damavand, will join the Navy warships in Northern Iran (in the Caspian Sea) by the end of the current (Iranian) year (which ends on March 20)," Hakimi told reporters in the port city of Anzali on Monday. In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems. In September 2012, the Iranian Navy officially launched a heavy submarine after the subsurface vessel was overhauled by the country's experts. Tareq 901 submarine was launched in Iran's Southern port city of Bandar Abbas at the order of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution and Commander in Chief Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei. In May 2012, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari lauded Iranian experts' success in repairing heavy submarines, saying their outstanding capabilities and mastery of the hi-tech used in naval vessels display the failure of enemy sanctions and pressures. He said the submarine, called Tareq, is now fully ready to be dispatched to the high seas. He pointed to the Supreme Leader's recent alarming remarks that enemies are trying to display Iranians as an incapable nation, and said, "Today we show that 'We can', and that our ability is way beyond the enemy's imaginations." In 2011, the Iranian Navy's Tareq-class submarine, 'Younus', managed to set a new record in sailing the international waters and high seas for 68 days. Iran's Younus submarine, sailing alongside warships of the 14th fleet of the Iranian Navy, returned home in early June 2011 following an over two-month-long mission in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The deployment of the Iranian submarine in the Red Sea was the first such operation by the country's Navy in far-off waters. Also earlier this month, Sayyari underlined the country's advanced naval equipment, including drones, and announced that the Navy's new home-made submarine, Fateh, will be launched this year. "Based on the Navy's plans, the Fateh submarine will be launched this year (i.e. the Iranian year March 2013-March 2014)," Sayyari told reporters in Tehran. Sayyari had earlier this year informed of the country's plan for unveiling the new submarine. "Fateh submarine, Kaman-class missile-launcher warships and Jamaran 2 destroyer will come into operation in the current year," he told reporters. Israel and its close ally the United States have recently intensified their war rhetoric against Iran. The two arch foes of the Islamic Republic accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads. Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry. Iran has, in return, warned that it would target Israel and its worldwide interests in case it comes under attack by the Tel Aviv. The United States has long stressed that military action is a main option for the White House to deter Iran's progress in the field of nuclear technology. Iran has warned that in case of an attack by either the US or Israel, it will target 32 American bases in the Middle East and close the strategic Strait of Hormuz. An estimated 40 percent of the world's oil supply passes through the waterway. Â