Iran Launches First Domestically Made Destroyer

TEHRAN (AFP)- Iran’s navy launched its first domestically made destroyer in the Persian Gulf on Feb. 19 in a ceremony attend by the supreme leader and the commander-in-chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the media reported.

“Iran’s navy on Friday took the delivery of the first indigenously designed and developed guided missile destroyer “Jamaran” in the Persian Gulf,” Iran’s English-language Press TV reported.

The vessel has a displacement of around 14,000 tons and is equipped with modern radars and electronic warfare capabilities, the report said.

“Jamaran, a multi-mission destroyer, can carry 120-140 personnel on board and is armed with a variety of anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles with a top speed of up to 30 knots and has a helipad,” the report added. “The vessel has also been equipped with torpedoes and modern naval cannons.”

State television also showed footage of the vessel and the ceremony at which it was launched by Khamenei flanked by the top Iranian military commanders.

Much of Iran’s naval equipment dates from before the 1979 Islamic revolution and is U.S. made. Since the revolution, Tehran has purchased a number of Russian-made submarines.

In the past year Iranian navy has carried out a number of missions in the Gulf of Aden and offshore Somalia where it was commissioned to escort Iranian merchant ships and oil tankers.

Tehran is enriching uranium, which many Western countries and Israel fear is a step toward manufacturing an atomic bomb. Tehran rejects such charges, saying its nuclear program is entirely peaceful On Thursday, the U.N. atomic watchdog expressed concern that Iran might have been trying to develop a nuclear warhead. On Feb. 19, Iran dismissed the concern as “baseless.”

Iran is under U.N. sanctions for failing to obey Security Council resolutions demanding that it halt enrichment. Neither the United States nor Israel have ruled out military action if it does not eventually do so.