Iran claims Antarctica ownership, preps for military operation on South Pole

TEHRAN: Iran’s Navy commander declared Antarctica as the regime’s property, asserting plans for a military operation on the South Pole, Fox News reported.

The announcement, made on a televised broadcast last fall, emphasised Iran’s intention to raise its flag and conduct both military and scientific activities in the region.

“We have property rights in the South Pole. We have a plan to raise our flag there and carry out military and scientific work,” stated Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani in late September.

This declaration has sparked concerns, especially in the context of recent Iranian-backed militias’ actions that resulted in the death of three US soldiers in Jordan.

Questions arose about whether the unfreezing of $6 billion in Iranian funds by the US could potentially be used for establishing a base in Antarctica.

However, a US State Department spokesperson clarified that these funds are strictly earmarked for humanitarian goods and cannot be utilised for activities in Antarctica.

Despite growing tensions globally, including the Iran-backed Hamas massacre in southern Israel, the Biden administration released $6 billion in sanctions relief. Iran’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, challenged the restrictions on fund usage, asserting the regime’s prerogative to allocate the funds as needed.

The potential expansion of Iran’s military presence into Antarctica raises concerns about violations of multilateral conventions. Yonah Jeremy Bob, a military and intelligence analyst, emphasised the risks associated with Iran’s aggressive actions, urging the US and its allies to take the nuclear threat more seriously.

While Iran’s naval ambitions extend beyond the Middle East, with previous reports indicating plans for a military presence at the Panama Canal, the international community remains vigilant.

The intricacies of claiming an interest in Antarctica, as highlighted by experts, raise questions about the recognition of such endeavours under existing treaties.

As tensions escalate, global powers closely monitor Iran’s actions and their potential implications for international stability.

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