Until now, the farthest point reached by the Iranian Navy was the Gulf of Aden.
The joint action of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE fleets in the Yemen war pushed the Iranian navy back from expansion towards the Mediterranean, and prevented Tehran from capturing the strategic islands in the mouth of the Bab-al-Mandab Strait at the entrance to the Red Sea. But now, behind its enemies’ back, Iran has received a station in the Mediterranean from Italy.
Iran lacks warships and advanced submarines and can not stand up to Egypt’s helicopter carriers or find answers for the Dolphin-class submarines that Germany has sold Israel.
Iran, however, has the money and the will to invest in new warships, while Italy has the will to build such ships for the Iranian fleet. After the US Sixth Fleet has reduced the number of warships at its ports, and nearly a year since a US aircraft carrier anchored at an Italian port, the Italians realize that they cannot rely on the Americans, and are open to allowing the Iranian fleet to use their Mediterranean bases.
Italian Rear-Admiral Marcella said during his visit to Tehran, “It is certain that these talks and meetings will lead to the development of interaction and cooperation in different military areas between the two countries of Iran and Italy.”
This is happening at the same time that Russia and Egypt are building up armadas of warships that are bigger and more advanced than ever before. Moscow posted its Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean, and Egypt took delivery of the Anwar El Sadat and the Gamal Abdel Nasser, two Mistral-class helicopter carriers bearing 92 choppers, purchased from France.
The US Pentagon and Navy chiefs urged Israel to update and enlarge its war fleet, which they said was “full of holes” to catch up with the rapidly changing conditions.