TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi described the Persian Gulf as “the most important and strategic waterway in the world” and highlighted the country’s leading role in ensuring the security of the region.

“Forty percent of the world’s oil (resources) exists in the Persian Gulf region and this (amount of) energy passes through the Strait of Hormuz,” Rear Admiral Khanzadi said in a speech on Monday.

“The Persian Gulf is the most important and strategic waterway in the world and is among the vital interests of the country,” he said, adding, “Whoever rules this region, it means that he controls the energy of the world.”

He further emphasized that the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz is off the Iranian coasts, adding that the Islamic Republic is involved in securing the passage of energy through the waterway.

In recent years, Iran’s naval forces have increased their presence in high seas to secure naval routes and protect merchant vessels and oil tankers against pirates.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, also Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces, has on various occasions called for enhancement of the Iranian naval forces’ presence in international waters, describing it as a factor that contributes to the strength and capability of Iran.

In comments in November 2017, the Leader pointed to the Navy’s role in “critical regions like the (coasts of) Makran, the Sea of Oman and high seas”, emphasizing that the Iranian naval forces should keep operating in international waters.