Iran building naval base on Indian Ocean
Iran is building a new naval base on its Indian Ocean coast, amid continued tensions with the US and Tehran's neighbours, Iranian media reported on Monday.
The base will be used to protect fishing and commercial vessels from piracy and "foreign ships", the Iranian media report stated.
Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, the current commander of the naval attachment of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, said that construction of the base should be completed by the end of the year.
"The deployment of the fleet by the IRGC navy to distant waters has been done in the past, and our second fleet was also sent to the waters of the Indian Ocean," he said, according to The National.
"[It will improve] security in the mouth of the Indian Ocean that will also be of great help to the growing presence of Iranian fishing and fishing development in the region."
Iran has been locked in tensions with its Arab neighbours and the US, which has centred on the bustling shipping lanes of the Strait of Hormuz.
There have been attacks on commercial vessels in UAE waters over the past two-years, while last July Iran impounded the Stena Impero, sparking heated words with the UK.
Tehran's navy has also engaged in dangerous confrontations with US naval vessels in the waters.
Iran has invested heavily in naval defences and recently test fired new missiles, part of Tehran's efforts to achieve strategic depth in Gulf waters.
A report by the official IRNA news agency said the missiles destroyed targets at a distance of 280 kilometres (170 miles). It said the tests took place during a naval drill by Iran’s navy in the Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean.
IIRNA said the missiles' range can be extended but gave no details.