Danish military spots Iranian vessels in the Baltic Sea
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - The Danish military said Thursday it spotted an Iranian destroyer and a large support ship sailing through the Baltic Sea, likely to head to Russia for a military parade in the coming days.
The Danish Ministry of Defense posted online photos by the Royal Danish Air Force of the new domestically built Iranian destroyer Sahand and the secret service ship Makran as it flies past the Danish island of Bornholm.
"They are expected to be on their way to the annual naval parade in St. Petersburg," wrote the Danish military on Twitter.
The Iranian state news agency IRNA reported Thursday that the country's naval commander Admiral Hossein Khanzadi will attend the Russian naval parade in St. Petersburg following an invitation from the Russian defense minister.
IRNA also said that the Sahand will take part in the parade "if the programs planned by Russia are in line with the plans of the Iranian fleet".
According to Russian state media, the naval parade will take place on Sunday.
The two ships left the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in May. Pictures from Maxar Technologies dated April 28 appear to show seven Iranian rapid attack ships typically associated with their revolutionary paramilitary guards on the deck of the Makran.
The Danish military photos showed these seven ships covered on Thursday and still on board the Makran. The rapid attack ships aboard the Makran are the type the Guards use in their tense encounters with US warships in the Persian Gulf and its narrow mouth, the Strait of Hormuz.
The Politico website first reported in late May, citing anonymous officials, that the ships' final destination could possibly be Venezuela. However, it appears that the ships instead circled the Cape of Good Hope in Africa and headed north on an unusually long voyage for the Iranian Navy.
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