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ASTRAKHAN, June 26 (Itar-Tass) - Iranian naval ships are expected to make a friendly visit to the port of Astrakhan, the main base of Russia’s Caspian Flotilla.
“The visit has been arranged in line with a plan for development and consolidation of international cooperation between the Russian Navy and the navies of Caspian littoral countries,” spokespeople for the Astrakhan region ministry of international and foreign economic relations said.
“The itinerary of the visit includes a meeting between commanding officers of the detachment of Iranian warships and the commanders of the Caspian flotilla.
The Iranian detachment consists of The Peikan and The Jushan guided-missile boats that will moor at wharf No. 17 of the Astrakhan port alongside with the ships of the Caspian flotilla and will then stand on the roads until July 1.
Iranian and Russian seamen will lay flowers at the Eternal Flame monument in Astrakhan, and the Iranian guests will be taken around the city’s sights and museums. Also, they will visit one of the Russian ships.
Sports competitions have been scheduled, too.
The Caspian flotilla ships visited Iran in 2007. The missile cruiser Tatarstan called in the port of Enzeli then.
The current visit has been organized by the Russian Ministry of Defense together with the Astrakhan region government and the Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Astrakhan.
Igor Gorbul, a spokesman for Russia’s Southern Military District told Itar-Tass the visit has been rescheduled to June 28. Under the initial plans, the ships were supposed to call into the Astrakhan port June 22.
Iran’s Admiral Siyavush Jarre told Iranian news agencies Wednesday that the two ships heading for Russia were built in 2003 and 2006.
The visit is a message of friendship to the all the Caspian littoral countries but it is called upon to demonstrate Iran’s combat capability, Adm Jarre said.
At the end of April, Russia’s Pacific Fleet ships The Admiral Panteleyev, the big antisubmarine ship Peresvet and the big antisubmarine ship Admiral Nevelskoi made a visit to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas located in the coast of the Persian Gulf.