Iran’s “Dana” Destroyer, which participated in the IONS 2022 Exercises off Goa, India.
“The presence of the Navy in open waters … shows the authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the maritime arena.”
The excerpted article from Iranian media source Fars News Agency reflects on the increasing operations of the Iranian Navy in the Indian Ocean basin. The article describes a combined naval exercise called the IONS Maritime Exercise 2022 (IMEX 2022) near the southern Indian city of Goa. The exercise was sponsored by the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), which consists of 24 Indian Ocean littoral states, including Australia and France (due to its possession of the Indian Ocean island of Mayotte). The participation of the Iranian destroyer Dena and maritime reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters in the exercise—even when coupled with India’s and Iran’s regular exchange of naval port calls—does not mean that India and Iran are developing a special relationship. At a minimum, Iranian participation 1,400 miles away from Hormuz demonstrates the Iranian Navy’s growing confidence operating in blue water. The exercises, which excluded China, also reflect a growing recognition in India that competition with China in the Indian Ocean mandates interoperability amongst Middle Eastern, South Asian, and East African states. Notably, IONS member Pakistan, a traditional adversary of India as well as a client of China, did not participate in the Goa exercises.
“Agaz-e Razmayesh Marakab-e Darya-ye IONS 2022 ba Hazor Navshakan Tamam Irani (A Domestically-Manufactured Iranian Destroyer Joins the IONS 2022 Combined Naval Exercises),” Fars News Agency (media outlet close to Iran’s defense and security apparatus), 29 March 2022. https://www.farsnews.ir/news/14010109000323
After holding briefings, workshops and visiting the fleets of the two sides, this morning the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Combined Naval Exercise (IMEX 22) began in Goa with the participation of Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, India, Bangladesh and the Indian Ocean countries and the participation of 14 IONS members.
Captain Farhad Fattahi, commander of the Naval Expeditionary Fleet, said that the Islamic Republic of Iran currently chairs the IONS Maritime Security Committee, and said, “IMEX 2022 exercise will be held in two phases, coastal and naval. The coastal phase includes includes briefings, training workshops and visits to the fleets of the two sides. In the naval phase, specialized naval operations including formulation exercises, guard officer maneuvers, medical aid exchange operations, rescue operations, tests and assessments will be carried out…”
Emphasizing that today the Navy has become a decisive force in various fields, he stated, “The presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy in open waters and its participation in multilateral exercises with countries around the world, shows the authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the maritime arena and [our] effective interaction with other countries in securing maritime prosperity and world peace.
Image: Iran’s “Dana” Destroyer, which participated in the IONS 2022 Exercises off Goa, India
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency