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TEHRAN — Iran’s navy is going to deploy ships close to U.S. territorial waters, its commander in chief was quoted as saying Tuesday.

“As the global oppression [referring to the U.S.] is present not far from our maritime border … our navy is going to have a strong presence not far from U.S. territorial waters,” the Irna news agency quoted Adm. Habibollah Sayyari as saying.

On July 19 Adm. Sayyari said Iran was going to send “a flotilla into the Atlantic.”

The remarks come as another high-ranking Iranian appeared to reject a recent U.S. request to establish a “red phone” link between the countries to avoid unwanted confrontation between their armed forces in the Persian Gulf region.

“When we are in the Gulf of Mexico, we will establish direct contact with the United States,” Ali Fadavi, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps navy, was quoted in press reports as saying. “In the view of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the presence of the U.S. in the Persian Gulf is illegitimate and makes no sense.”

The Iranian navy has been developing its presence in international waters since last year, regularly launching vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates.

Iran also sent two ships into the Mediterranean for the first time in February, via the Suez Canal, to the annoyance of Israel and the United States.


7-year sentence sought for Tymoshenko

KIEV —A spokeswoman for former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said prosecutors have asked the judge in her abuse-of-office trial to sentence her to seven years in prison.

Prosecutor Liliya Frolova also asked the judge on Tuesday to fine the country’s top opposition leader $190,000 for the alleged damages she caused and to make her ineligible to occupy government posts for three years, spokeswoman Natasha Lysova said,

Prosecutors could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mrs. Tymoshenko stands accused of exceeding her authority when signing a gas import contract with Russia in 2009. She says the trial is an effort by President Viktor Yanukovych to bar her from upcoming elections.


Turkish ship begins oil exploration off Cyprus

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