On June 28, the Lieutenant Commander of the Russian Navy stationed in the Caspian Sea, Nikolai Yakubovsky, announced plans for a joint exercise of the Russian and Iranian Navies in the Caspian Sea, in the second half of 2013. The announcement was made after a meeting with the commander of Iranian guided-missile boats then visiting the port of Astrakhan. Iran has dispatched two domestically manufactured missile-launching frigates to Astrakhan.

Iranian naval officers are scheduled to inspect several Russian military and port facilities and meet with a number of Russian officials.

In mid-April, a group of Russian Navy warships docked at the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas. The fleet, which consisted of an anti-submarine destroyer, logistic ships and a frigate with a crew of 712, claimed to be on a mission to promote bilateral naval cooperation to maintain maritime security.

Iran's Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters. Iran claims that these deployments are to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers specifically doing business with the Iranian regime.

During their first Iran-Russia joint naval maneuvers, held in the Caspian Sea in 2009, 30 ships were involved in the exercise.

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Related Topics:  Iran, Russia
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