1224 GMT December 16, 2019
The naval fleet berthed at the Russian port with the aim of promoting peaceful cooperation between Tehran and Moscow.
The Iranian fleet departed from the country’s Caspian port city of Bandar Anzali on Sunday morning.
A total of 200 servicemen are aboard the fleet in the mission, which is planned to last 14 days.
The purpose of the mission is to have an exchange of experiences, boost preparedness, and respond to a recent visit to Iran of a Russian naval fleet as part of routine interactions, Iran’s Navy said.
Damavand, a 100-meter-long destroyer weighing more than 1,300 tons, officially joined the northern fleet in the Caspian Sea in March.
"Overall, three Iranian ships have arrived on a friendly visit. But one of them, the advanced Iranian destroyer Damavand has a deep draft and would have been unable to sail across the Volga [the river has a shallow section in this area]. That is why, it continued staying anchored at sea at the entry to the Volga-Caspian Canal," the Caspian Flotilla press office told TASS.
The Iranian ships will stay in Astrakhan until Friday evening.
Mutual visits by Russian and Iranian ships to Caspian ports have become regular in the past two years.
Specifically, Iranian naval ships visited the Caspian Flotilla in the summer of 2013, calling at Astrakhan.
In 2014, the Russian escort ship Dagestan and the small missile ship Grad Sviyazhsk paid a friendly visit to Bandar Anzali.
After Astrakhan, the Iranian squadron will go to Baku on a friendly visit. It will be Iran's first naval visit to Azerbaijan.