Iranian state television announced the launch of the vessel late last week. According to reports, it will be made available to tourists visiting the Persian Gulf
The submarine, which has been named Morvarid (Pearl in Farsi), was designed and manufactured by a team of Iranian engineers. Iran’s submarine fleet already comprises a number of Russian-made vessels, along with smaller Iranian-built models, but Morvarid is the first to be used for commercial purposes.
According to state television, the submarine is four metres long with a width and height of three metres. It is able to carry four passengers at a time and has a maximum speed of 12 knots (around 14 miles per hour). Morvarid is equipped with a diesel generator but can also be electrically powered for six to ten hours.
It will be used to transport visitors around the island of Kish in the Persian Gulf. The island plays host to around one million visitors every year and is the fourth most-visited destination in South-West Asia. It was listed as one of the world’s ten most beautiful islands by The New York Times in 2010 and is described as a shopper’s paradise, due to its free trade status.