TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said his counterparts from 35 countries plan to attend an international conference due to open in Tehran on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters during a press conference in Tehran on Saturday, Rear Admiral Khanzadi said the Iranian capital is slated to host the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) from Sunday, April 22, to Wednesday, April 25.

Navy commanders from 35 countries will participate in the conference, he said, adding that in addition to the IONS member states, some countries like the Caspian Sea littoral states requested to take part in the gathering as guests, which was accepted, he said.

During the international event, the Iranian Navy will take over the presidency of the IONS for two years.

The Iranian Navy commander further said there will be bilateral meetings with navy chiefs of other countries on the sidelines of the conference.

The IONS is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.

In the process, it endeavors to generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions on the way ahead.

There are 32 Navies of the IONS – 23 members and 9 observers. The member states include Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Australia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Singapore.