Iran adds 2 submarines to naval fleet

Iran's official news agency reported Thursday that the navy has added two more domestically built light submarines to its fleet.

The move is seen as part of Iran's effort to upgrade its defense capabilities amid escalating tension with the West over its nuclear program. Tehran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, over new U.S. sanctions targeting its critical oil industry.

The report by IRNA quoted Iran's navy chief Adm. Habibollah Sayyari as saying the Ghadir class submarines meet the needs of the navy.

In November, Iran said it added three more Ghadir class submarines to its naval fleet. This class of submarine can fire missiles and torpedoes and operate in the Gulf's shallow waters.

Iran is believed to have about 12 light and three Russian-made submarines in its fleet, but it does not disclose the total numbers.

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