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Iran aims to send warships to the Atlantic near US waters

It seems that Iran has lost all ways out of the obviously severe crisis it suffered after the US reimposed sanctions on the Persian country in late 2018. The only way Iran thinks it will work with the US is through threats.

Threats are not a totally new tactic for Iran. Tehran has been familiar with this method since US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

A top Iranian commander said Friday that the Iranian navy will send warships to deploy in the Atlantic in March, as Iran seeks to increase the operating range of its naval forces to the back yard of the United States, Reuters reported.

Iran sees the presence of US aircraft carriers in the Gulf as a security concern, and its navy has sought to counter that by showing the Iranian flag near American waters.

A flotilla will leave for the Atlantic early in the Iranian new year, starting from March, Iran’s naval deputy commander said.

“The Atlantic Ocean is far and the operation of the Iranian naval flotilla might take five months,” Rear Adm. Touraj Hassani was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

He said the Sahand, a newly built destroyer, would be one of the warships. The Sahand has a flight deck for helicopters, and Iran says it is equipped with anti-aircraft and anti-ship guns, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, and it also has electronic warfare capabilities.

Hassani said in December that Iran would soon send two to three vessels on a mission to Venezuela.

A senior Iranian military official said last month that the navy could sail in the Atlantic near US waters since US aircraft carriers were allowed to move around in international waters near Iran.

Iran’s navy has extended its reach in recent years, launching vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates.

“By their continuous presence in international waters, Iranian naval forces aim to implement the orders of commander-in-chief of the armed forces (Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), wave the flag of the Republic of Iran, thwart the Iranophobia plots, and secure shipping routes,” Hassani said.

A US-Iranian war of words has escalated since US President Donald Trump took Washington out of a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran in May, reimposing sanctions on its banking and energy sectors.

Iran has warned that if it cannot sell its oil due to US pressure, then no other regional country will be allowed to do so either, threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf. A third of the world’s sea-borne oil passes through the strait.

In recent years, there have been periodic confrontations between the Revolutionary Guards and US military in the Gulf, but the number of incidents has dropped in recent months.
Last Modified: Friday، 04 January 2019 10:50 PM