TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency is reporting that the country's chief of staff of the armed forces has said that Tehran is interested in setting up naval bases in both Syria and Yemen.

The Saturday report by Tasnim quotes Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri as saying, "Maybe, at some point we will need bases on the shores of Yemen and Syria."

He said, "Having naval bases in remote distances is not less than nuclear power. It is ten times more important and creates deterrence."

Gen. Bagheri added that setting up naval platforms off the shores of those countries requires "infrastructures there first."

Iran is currently helping Shiite rebels in Yemen and the Syrian government in their fights against the Islamic State extremist group.

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