An official source at the Ministry of Defense issued the following statement:
'Different media have recently reported that Iranian warships docked at Jeddah Islamic Port on their way to the Syrian port of Tartous. Because these reports have raised questions, the Ministry of Defense wishes to clarify the matter and put an end to speculations:
First: On 18/01/1433H., the Iranian officials at the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Riyadh submitted through official channels a request for allowing two ships (Kharg and Naghdi) and a helicopter affiliating to the Iranian Naval Forces to dock at Jeddah Islamic Port during the period of 1-7/02/2012. The docking comes within a training tour for students of the Iranian Navy and within the framework of friendly visits. Such docking was approved by Saudi authorities.
Second: The Iranian officials at the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Riyadh submitted another request for allowing Bandar Abbas Ship, Alvand Ship, Alborz Ship and a helicopter to dock at Jeddah Islamic Port during the same period. These ships replace the two ships that have already requested to dock at Jeddah Islamic Port (i.e., Kharg and Naghdi). The purpose of such docking is part of a training tour for students of the Iranian Navy, rather than what has been stated by the Iranian Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayyari who said the purpose of this visit is to communicate with the countries of the region, render false any Iranian threat, and show his country's capabilities in international waters and foreign ports.
These approvals come within the framework of a long tradition of naval forces throughout the world, allowing passage and docking within international conventions.
The approval of the Ministry of Defense of such a procedure stems from the keenness of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on sustaining strong ties of friendship with all brotherly and friendly countries as well as its commitment to the principle of good faith in order to uphold these relations based on friendship, respect, and mutual trust.'