The U.S. military is closely watching the movements of two Iranian warships sent out to the Atlantic Ocean for the first time on a mission to safeguard the interests of the Islamic Republic on the high seas.
“We’re monitoring this deployment of these two ships,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters Friday.
Amid speculation that the naval contingent consisting of Moudge-class destroyer Sahand and the intelligence-gathering vessel Makran was headed to Venezuela, Kirby declined to discuss what the objectives of the ships might be, but emphasized that they would remain within the sights of U.S. forces.
“I believe questions should be put to leaders in Tehran about what their intent is,” Kirby said. “So I’m not going to speculate about what they think they’re trying to achieve, but we are monitoring it and keeping an eye on it.”
The mission was announced during a press conference held Thursday by Iranian Army Deputy Coordinator Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, who formerly served as the commander of the country’s navy. He said that Sahand and Makran, which belong to the Iranian Navy’s 77th strategic fleet, began their journey on May 10 and have since been “able to enter the Atlantic Ocean for the first time without mooring in ports of other countries.”