"We can prevent the entry of any enemy naval units into the strategic
Persian Gulf area if need be," Sayari said. "The army needed new bases on
the Sea of Oman given the presence of forces from outside the region in the
waters around Iran."
The base was announced on Oct. 29 in wake of a series of Gulf exercises,
meant to test new weapons and tactics. The navy has reported the development
of new torpedoes and land-strike missiles.
Over the last month, Teheran lowered its alert of an Israeli or U.S. air
strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. But officials said the Iranian
leadership continued to debate the merits of a preemptive strike on Israel.
A senior Iranian official, Sayed Safavi, told a private meeting of
diplomats in London in October that Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei was
considering several proposals to launch a strike against Israel from either
Lebanon or Syria. Safavi, director of Research Institute of Strategic
Studies in Teheran, said the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was drafting
plans for a major attack on Israel that would not be directly attributable
Safavi, brother of former IRGC commander Gen. Yahya Safavi, said IRGC
and much of the Iranian leadership have not dismissed the prospect of an
Israeli air operation to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities. He said the
spate of Israeli threats in September and October have intensified planning
of an Iranian response.
"The recent Israeli declarations and harsh rhetoric on a strike against
Iran put ammunition in the hands of these individuals," Safavi said.