Iranian Navy commander said Iranian naval forces will be sailing the Atlantic Ocean after their successful mission in the Pacific Ocean and crossing the Equator, Press TV reported Saturday. The presence of Iran Navy in the Pacific Ocean and the China Sea has elevated the country s standing in international waters, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Friday. The Navy s 24th fleet consisting of Sabalan destroyer and Kharg helicopter carrier, docked at China's Zhangjiagang port on March 4 after sailing 13,000 kilometers in 40 days. Three days later, the fleet left the Chinese port city for the Strait of Malacca after training exercises. Sayyari said Iran s Navy has made considerable progress in building and modernizing vessels and submarines. The Iranian commander stressed the importance of maintaining and strengthening naval preparedness to defend the Islamic establishment. In recent years, Iran's Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for Iranian merchant vessels and tankers. In addition, in line with the international efforts to combat piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to safeguard the vessels involved in maritime trade, especially the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.