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The New Arab

Iran looking to set up bases in Syria, Yemen

The Islamic republic seeks a fleet in the Indian Ocean [AFP]

Date of publication: 26 November, 2016

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Iran could cement its military presence in two of the region's hot spots, with Tehran interested in setting up naval bases in Syria and Yemen.
Iran is considering setting up naval bases in both Syria and Yemen, the country's Tasnim news agency has said, following comments from the military's chief of staff.

Hossein Bagher told navy commanders in Tehran that Iran must develop its military strategy in the region, and form a a fleet to be present in the Indian Ocean, similar to the one stationed in the Sea of Oman.

"Maybe, at some point we will need bases on the shores of Yemen and Syria," Bagher suggested.

"Having naval bases in remote distances is not less than nuclear power. It is ten times more important and creates deterrence," he added.

But setting up naval bases off the shores of Syria and Yemen needs "infrastructures there for it under the international maritime law".

Iran is a key backer of the Houthi rebels in Yemen and has soldiers fighting on the side of President Bashar al-Assad against rebels in Syria.

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