TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s Navy commander called for the formation of a joint combat work group by member states of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).

Addressing the IONS 2018 in Tehran on Monday, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi regretted that the proposal to set up a combat group by IONS members –made by Iran more than six years ago- has not gone any further than the agenda of a closed-door meeting of top commanders.  

The Iranian Navy commander said that formation of such a combat group, in addition to the formulation of a “common tactical language for coordinated naval measures”, would contribute to stability.

Admiral Khanzadi also voiced the Iranian Navy’s resolve to achieve that purpose with practical measures, hailing the IONS’ success to establish task forces on fighting piracy, dealing with natural disasters, and exchanging information.

As regards the security of maritime areas in the world, the Iranian commander stressed that security of every region should be ensured by regional countries, warning that the naval presence of outsiders would impose foreign security arrangements on a region.

The naval symposium, attended by high-ranking delegations from 35 countries, began on Monday morning with an opening speech by Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri.

Iran officially assumed presidency of the symposium for two years on Monday morning.

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.