Iranian naval assistance in Africa

Reuters

One of two Iranian navy warships arrives to dock at Port Sudan in the Red Sea state December 8, 2012.

Article Highlights

  • The Iranian outreach to Africa continues apace.

    Tweet This

  • Tehran’s naval outreach suggests that Tehran is seeking to leverage its emphasis on naval development for diplomatic gains.

    Tweet This

  • It appears that the Iranian government hopes to continue that trend and send its Navy into the Atlantic Ocean as well.

    Tweet This

The Iranian outreach to Africa (detailed in the April 2013 Operational Environment Watch) continues apace, despite the transition from the Ahmadinejad to Rouhani administrations. The excerpted article notes a visit by the commander of the Namibian Navy to the Islamic Republic to meet with his Iranian counterparts and tour various Iranian naval facilities.
The visit culminates a diplomatic revival in ties between the two countries. While Iran had maintained an embassy in Windhoek in the decade after the Islamic Revolution, it shuttered its embassy 15 years ago because of the economic cost of maintaining the embassy and its diplomatic presence. Iran’s renewed interest in Namibia coincides with Namibia’s expansion of its uranium mining industry; today, Namibia is the fifth largest producer of uranium after Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, and Niger.

While the report says that Iran seeks to provide assistance to counterpiracy efforts not only off the Horn of Africa but along the west coast of Africa as well, Tehran’s naval outreach also suggests that Tehran is seeking to leverage its emphasis on naval development for diplomatic gains, and that it continues to seek locations to which it might send flotillas to show the Iranian flag. In recent years the Iranian Navy has sent ships through the Suez Canal into the Eastern Mediterranean, and made numerous port calls in Sudan; earlier this year, it sent three ships into the Pacific Ocean, making port calls in China and Sri Lanka. It appears that the Iranian government hopes to continue that trend and send its Navy into the Atlantic Ocean as well.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Michael
Rubin


  • Michael Rubin is a former Pentagon official whose major research areas are the Middle East, Turkey, Iran and diplomacy. Rubin instructs senior military officers deploying to the Middle East and Afghanistan on regional politics, and teaches classes regarding Iran, terrorism, and Arab politics on board deploying U.S. aircraft carriers. Rubin has lived in post-revolution Iran, Yemen, both pre- and post-war Iraq, and spent time with the Taliban before 9/11. His newest book, Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engagement examines a half century of U.S. diplomacy with rogue regimes and terrorist groups.


    Follow Michael Rubin on Twitter.


  • Phone: 202-862-5851
    Email: mrubin@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Ahmad Majidyar
    Phone: 202-862-5845
    Email: ahmad.majidyar@aei.org

What's new on AEI

image Getting it right: US national security policy and al Qaeda since 2011
image Net neutrality rundown: What the NPRM means for you
image The Schuette decision
image Snatching failure from victory in Afghanistan
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Event Registration is Closed
Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.