Iran Plans to Send Ships Near U.S. Waters
State-run Islamic Republic News Agency broke news that Iran is planning to deploy Navy vessels near the Atlantic coast of the United States, reporting that the Iranian Navy aims to have a powerful presence near U.S. borders.
The press agency quoted Iranian naval official, Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayari, saying that just like the “world arrogant power” is present in Iran’s waters; they shall also establish presence in the maritime borders of the United States by sending a flotilla into the Atlantic Ocean. Iran-based Press TV added that Sayari had proclaimed similar plans back in July of this year when two Iranian naval ships swept through the Suez Canal in the first voyages of its type since 1979.
Ali Fadavi, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy, was quoted in multiple press reports saying that when their ships are in the Gulf of Mexico, direct contact with the U.S. will be established, but that in the view of the Islamic Republic, American presence in the Persian Gulf is “illegitimate.”
Is this a direct threat to the U.S.?
Most likely not. The plans are supplemented with actions from the Iran Navy to send a fleet of warships to the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea to protect their commercial vessels from the rising piracy climate of the areas. But any advance of military forces in the midst of a long-standing, adversarial relationship is not positive news. Despite the plans leaking into mainstream media outlets, officials from the U.S. Department of Defense have yet to issue a comment on the controversy.
CNN reports that the Islamic Republic has stressed on numerous occasions that its military does not pose a threat to other countries, and that their Tehran defense doctrine is purely based on deterrence. Their military is commonly conducting testing and drills to display their military power, as the threat of a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities remains a looming thought despite Tehran’s denial of any malicious intent behind their atomic program. --MarEx