Iran hails naval successes with return of ships
Iran boasted that this maritime achievement shows their navy is capable of being present anywhere globally, following a number of sea-based setbacks.
This "most historic military event at sea was completed with authority and success by sending a combat fleet consisting of the Iranian destroyer Sahand and the ship Makran that was able to end its mission and return home", Iran's naval commander Shahram Irani said.
According to the commander, the two ships travelled 45,000 kilometres, sailed by 55 countries in three continents, but Irani insisted the vessels did not violate the space of any countries.
He said the mission was a message of peace and friendship to the world.
"We are proud that we were able to show that sanctions and threats never work against Iranians and that we can build great barriers by relying on our own strength," Irani said.
"Today, we can be present in all the ocean zones of the world with authority whenever the order is issued."
Commander Irani added that the voyages were also linked to Iran's ongoing development of an indigenous propulsion system design, and that they intend to conduct further joint naval drills in the Gulf of Oman, likely with Russia, China, and other countries.
The successful return of the two ships marks a strong start for Admiral Shahram Irani, who was appointed to head Iran's navy in August, replacing Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, who had held the position since 2017.
Irani's appointment was the first time that a Sunni Muslim was selected as a senior commander in the military.
Iran lost two ships this year due to accidents or unexplained incidents.
In June, Iran's largest navy ship, the Kharg, sank after catching fire in the Gulf of Oman, with no explanation for the blaze. In May, 19 sailors were killed and the support ship the Konarak was sunk, in a friendly fire incident during a training drill.
The waters around Iran, particularly in the strategically important Gulf of Oman, have been the stage for escalating tensions between Iran and other international powers.
In July, a drone attacked the Israeli-owned Mercer Street vessel, killing two crew members and causing consternation among Western powers.