Danish military spots Iranian navy ships in Baltic Sea

The Danish military has said that it has spotted an Iranian destroyer and a large support vessel sailing through the Baltic Sea, thought to be heading to Russia for a military parade in the coming days.

The Danish defence ministry posted photographs online on Thursday from the Royal Danish Air Force of the new domestically built Iranian destroyer Sahand and the intelligence-gathering vessel Makran passing by the Danish island of Bornholm.

“It is expected that they are on their way to the annual naval parade in St Petersburg,” the Danish military wrote on Twitter.

Earlier on Thursday, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported that the country’s navy commander, Adm Hossein Khanzadi, would join the Russian naval parade at St Petersburg after receiving an invitation from the Russian defence minister.

IRNA also said the Sahand would join the parade “if the Russian-planned programmes are in line with the plans of the Iranian fleet”.

The naval parade is expected to take place on Sunday, according to Russian state media.

The two vessels left Iran’s Bandar Abbas port in May. Images from Maxar Technologies dated 28 April appear to show seven Iranian fast-attack craft typically associated with its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard on the deck of the Makran.

The Danish military photos showed those seven vessels covered and still aboard the Makran on Thursday. The fast-attack craft aboard the Makran are the type that the Revolutionary Guard uses in its encounters with US warships in the Persian Gulf and its narrow mouth, the strait of Hormuz.

The website Politico first reported in late May, citing anonymous officials, that the ships’ final destination may be Venezuela. However, it appears the vessels instead went around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope and continued north on an unusually long voyage.

Source: The Guardian