Iran may seek to set up naval bases in Yemen or Syria in the future, as distant footholds might be more valuable militarily than nuclear technology, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces said in remarks published on Sunday.
"We need distant bases, and it may become possible one day to have bases on the shores of Yemen or Syria, or bases on islands or floating (bases)," said General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, quoted by the Shargh daily newspaper.
"Is having distant bases less than nuclear technology? I say it is worth dozens of times more," added Baqeri, who was speaking at a gathering of naval commanders.
Iran is a main ally of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's civil war and of the armed Houthi movement fighting a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen.