An Iranian naval ship travels through the Suez Canal near Ismailia
An Iranian naval ship travels through the Suez Canal near Ismailia, Egypt. Reuters

Iranian navy has sent submarines to the Red Sea in its first such deployment in distant waters, a semi-official news agency reported on Tuesday.

Iranian military submarines entered the Red Sea waters with the goal of collecting information and identifying other countries' warships, Fars news agency said.

The agency did not specify the number or type of vessels involved but said they were sailing alongside warships of the Navy's 14th fleet.

State-run Press TV had reported in May that the 14th fleet comprising two vessels, the Bandar Abbas warship and Shahid Naqdi destroyer, was pressed into service to combat pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

“The submarines accompanied Iranian warships on an anti-piracy route in the Gulf of Aden in May and has entered the Red Sea in the continuation of its mission,” Fars reported quoting an unnamed government official.

Two Iranian warships passed through the Suez Canal in February. Tehran said the mission was one of peace and friendship but Israel called it a provocation.

Last August, Iran announced that it had expanded its fleet of internally built 120-tonne Ghadir-class submarines to 11 which it said would be used to guard the Gulf and the Sea of Oman, the agency report said.