Updated at: 03/17/2013 8:09 AM
By NASSER KARIMI
(AP) TEHRAN, Iran - Iran on Sunday launched its domestically built destroyer in the Caspian Sea, the nation’s first heavy military presence in the oil-rich sea, state TV reported.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the guided-missile destroyer Jamaran-2 in the port city of Anzali, about 250 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of Tehran.
After final tests, the report said, Jamaran-2 will join Iran’s naval fleet in the sea in coming months.
The 1,400-ton destroyer, which has a helicopter landing pad, is 94 meters (yards) long and can cruise at 30 knots. It is equipped to surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles as well as anti-aircraft batteries and sophisticated radar and communications terminals, the report said.
Iran launched a previous version of the Jamaran destroyer in 2010 in the Persian Gulf.
Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan that surround the Caspian have not reached an agreement on exploitation of its resources. Iran supports equally sharing the sea, but the other four countries have reached agreements on exploiting the resources through mutual pacts, putting Iran’s share at about 12 percent of the resources of the sea.
Since 1992, Iran has been building a self-sufficient military, reportedly producing its own jet fighters, military tanks, missiles and light submarines as well as torpedoes.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)