skip to main content

Israeli defence minister says Iran increasing presence in Red Sea

The satellite images of Iranian naval vessels that Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz showed at the 26th Annual Economist Government Roundtable in Athens. (Office of Benny Gantz)

Iran's naval presence in the Red Sea is the largest it has been for ten years, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz told a conference in Greece on 5 July.

“Today, we can confirm that Iran is methodically basing itself in the Red Sea with warships patrolling the southern region,” he said. “In the last months, we have identified the most significant Iranian military presence in the area in the past decade. It is a direct threat to international trade, energy supply, and the global economy.”

He supported the point by displaying four satellite images of Iranian naval vessels that he said had been in the Red Sea in recent months. The undated images showed one of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy's (IRIN's) three Mowj-class frigates and one of its four Hengam-class landing ships. Two images showed a Bandar Abbas-class supply ship, in one case alongside a naval combatant that was not identified, but did not appear to be a Mowj-class ship.

The Red Sea has become a growing focus for both the Israeli and Iranian navies, with recently retired Israeli naval commander Vice Admiral (retd) Eliyahu Sharvit saying in September 2021 that his service is maintaining a continuous presence there with major surface combatants and submarines.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...