DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The Danish military said on Thursday it spotted an Iranian destroyer and a large support vessel sailing in the Baltic Sea, likely heading to Russia for a military parade in the coming days.
The Danish Defense Ministry has posted Royal Danish Air Force photographs online of Iran’s new destroyer Sahand and intelligence ship Makran passing through the Danish island of Bornholm.
“They are expected to attend the annual St. Petersburg naval parade,” the Danish military wrote on Twitter.
Earlier Thursday, the official Iranian news agency IRNA announced that the commander of the Iranian navy, Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, will join the Russian naval parade in St. Petersburg after receiving an invitation from the Russian defense minister.
IRNA also said that the Sahand would join the parade “if the programs planned by Russia are in line with the plans of the Iranian fleet”.
The naval parade is scheduled to take place on Sunday, according to Russian state media.
The two ships left the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in May. Images from Maxar Technologies dated April 28 appear to show seven Iranian rapid attack devices typically associated with its paramilitary Revolutionary Guards on the Makran Bridge.
Danish military photos showed the seven ships covered and still aboard the Makran on Thursday. The rapid attack devices aboard the Makran are of the type the Guard uses in their tense encounters with American warships in the Persian Gulf and its narrow mouth, the Strait of Hormuz.
The Politico website first reported in late May, citing unnamed officials, that the ships’ final destination could be Venezuela. However, it appears that the ships instead rounded the African Cape of Good Hope and continued north on an unusually long Iranian navy voyage.