Ayatollah Khamenei, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces, made the remarks in a meeting with a number of high-ranking Iranian Navy commanders in the capital Tehran on Monday.
The Leader noted, “The huge capacities of the sea must turn into [a component of] the country’s public culture.”
Highlighting the long history of Iranians’ presence at sea, which helped transfer the Islamic and Iranian culture and civilization to other parts of the world, the Leader said, “Despite this long history and [having] long coasts in the north and especially in the south of Iran, the culture of taking advantage of maritime opportunities has been ignored in the country and must turn into a part of the people’s public culture.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also called for the continued presence of Iranian naval units in distant seas and international waters, adding, “Bolstering the Armed Forces’ cooperation with the administration and other branches [of the Islamic establishment] will lead to [better] understanding and will facilitate the work [that must be performed by them].”
During the meeting, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani presented a report on the measures and plans of made by his force in different spheres.
Iranian military experts and engineers have in recent years made remarkable breakthroughs in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient.
Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.