Iranian Commander in Italy on Rare European Visit

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari has travelled to Venice, Italy, to attend Regional Seapower Symposium of the Mediterranean and Black Sea Countries as a special guest.

Admiral Sayyari on Tuesday arrived in the Italian city of Venice as the special guest of the 11th edition of Regional Seapower Symposium of the Mediterranean and Black Sea Countries, commonly known as RSS.

Speaking to Mehr News Agency¸ Sayyari said he is going to deliver a speech in coming days on the issue of seapower and the experiences of Iran’s Navy in establishing security in Gulf of Aden and countering pirates.

“Italians earlier visited the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas as our guests, and are interested in using Iran’s experiences in providing security for Gulf of Aden,” he added.

This is one of the first visits of an Iranian military commander to a European country, and perhaps the first one to a Western state since the 1979 Revolution in Iran.

The four-day event was kicked off today, October 17, and will be underway until October 20 in Venice.

During the Symposium, which is attended by navy commanders of 50 countries, the top admirals discuss ways to counter illegal activities, technical innovation, and reinforcement of cooperation in marine security.

The purpose of the Regional Seapower Symposium for the Mediterranean and Black Sea Countries is to create a forum where the leaders of the regional Navies can meet and discuss about their common challenges and strengthen mutual co-operation.

In 1995, upon conclusion of the International Seapower Symposium held in Newport (USA), it was stressed that there was no similar regional activity for the Mediterranean and Black Sea area.

On that occasion, the Italian Navy was asked to organize such an event and, since 1996, she has been hosting the Symposium every two years.

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