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. Iran Boosts Gulf Presence With Locally Made Submarine

File photo: An Iranian diesel Submarine.
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Mar 07, 2006
Iran's armed forces have deployed a new locally-built submarine in Gulf waters, state television reported Tuesday. The vessel is named the Nahang, meaning whale, and was "built by specialists in the Iranian defence ministry and has the capability to carry multipurpose weapons for different missions", Rear Admiral Sajjad Kouchaki said.

"The submarine is fully adapted to the Persian Gulf," he said, adding that the Iranian navy was pursuing a policy of deterrence in the strategic waters -- home to the world's largest oil reserves.

No further details on the submarine were given.

Last May state media announced Iran had begun producing its first locally-built submarine. At the time it was called the Ghadir, named after a Shiite religious holiday.

According to foreign military experts, Iran's inventory of submarines patrolling Gulf waters includes up to six Russian-built SSK or SSI Kilo class diesel submarines.

In recent months Israel has been dangling the threat of pre-emptive action to stop Iran's disputed nuclear energy programme -- seen as a mask for weapons development.

The United States has also refused to rule out military action against Iran.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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