Danish Navy escorts Iranian warship entering Baltic Sea
An Iranian warship has been spotted in the English Channel and escorted through Danish waters en route to Russia, where Iran will participate in a military parade this weekend.
Marine trackers showed the intelligence gathering vessel Makran, which belongs to the Iranian Navy, sailing off the southern coast of Great Britain.
On satellite photos obtained by the US Naval Institute, the Makran and the Iranian destroyer Sahand were seen heading towards the English Channel from the Atlantic Ocean.
The Makran, an oil tanker converted for military use, was later sighted in the Strait of Dover at the south-eastern tip of England.
After crossing the English Channel, he entered Danish waters to enter the Baltic Sea en route to St. Petersburg. The Sahandthe position of was unclear.
The Makran was escorted by two Danish warships as it passed under the Danish Great Belt Bridge on Thursday morning, according to the Tanker Trackers website.
The Danish navy command said it had been informed through diplomatic channels of the Iranian passage.
“I don’t remember seeing Iranian warships in Danish waters,” Navy Command spokesman Per Hansen told local media.
He said the Danish military regularly monitors ships from non-NATO countries passing through its waters.
Sunday’s parade celebrating the 325th anniversary of the Russian fleet will involve 54 ships from countries including Iran, India and Pakistan.
An Iranian navy commander, Rear Admiral Hossein Khandazi, is expected to lead the Iranian delegation in Russia.
Iranian state media have suggested that only the Sahand would participate in the parade itself because the Makran was too large to fit into a necessary channel.
The two warships left the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in May and sailed for the Atlantic Ocean.
Iran said their deployment in the Atlantic was an effort to test their durability under harsh conditions.
He rejected suggestions that they were heading towards Venezuela, an ally of Tehran who, like Iran, is under US sanctions.
USNI expressed concern that the Makran could be used as an oil tanker to deliver fuel under the guise of military operations.
Considered to have entered service in November, it can take small boats on its deck and is equipped with a helipad.
Iran’s largest warship, Kharg, caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Oman last month.
Update: July 27, 2021, 7:08 am