Iran intends to dispatch “a fleet of warships” to the Atlantic Ocean shortly, the semi-state Fars news agency reported Thursday, quoting the regime’s navy chief. “Our warships will soon berth at ports in the Atlantic Ocean,” Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari promised at a ceremony on Wednesday marking the return to port of Iranian warships that Fars said had taken part in joint drills with the Russian navy.

Sayyari said the Iranian vessels had been in the Caspian Sea and at the Russian port of Astrakhan. “The presence of Iranian warships in international ports shows the Iranian Navy’s prowess,” Fars quoted him saying. Sayyari made a similar pledge to deploy warships in the Atlantic in early 2014. At the time, Iran promised to send its fleet close to American maritime borders as a counter to the US navy’s presence in the Gulf. But in April, the navy chief said the move had been canceled “due to a change in schedule.” FULL REPORT