Iran: Warships to American Border

Iran: Warships to American BorderIn an eerily realistic version of battleship, recent reports have announced that Iran plans to station warships near the American maritime border. According to Iranian sources, this movement is a result of the American vessels stationed in the Persian Gulf. Apparently, this is an Iranian attempt to send a message to the American government about their concern regarding the U.S Naval presence near the Iranian coastline.

When discussing the matter, Iranian Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad commented, “An Iranian military fleet is advancing towards the United States maritime borders, and this move has a very specific message attached with  it.” Sources via an official IRNA news-broadcasting agency have also reported that Iran warships have already started their course to the American borders from Atlantic waters near South Africa; however, these reports have yet to be confirmed. The IRNA has also quoted Admiral Haddad saying, “The fleet is advancing towards U.S. maritime borders for the first time.”

It has further been reported that the Iranian fleet consists of a destroyer and a helicopter supply ship, which sources have claimed sometime last month as a part of a three-month-long Iranian mission. In addition, sources have reported that this Iranian excursion is part of Iran’s plan to demonstrate their capability of projecting power across areas beyond the Middle East.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian Supreme Leader, further elaborated on the matter with his statement, “America has a controlling and intrusive attitude in regard to matters here in the Middle East. Officials from America constantly make public statements saying that they do not desire a change of regime here in Iran, but that is a lie. If they were given the opportunity to do so, they would not hesitate to do so.” Khamenei’s announcement was issued during a recent speech, which was held in remembrance of the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Khamenei further elaborated on the issue stating,  “It is the American’s controlling and intrusive attitudes that force us to take our hostile stance towards the United States.”

Although the issue of Iran and the alleged warship fleet destined for American borders has been a topic of some concern, several U.S. officials have commented on the issue, expressing that they are not as concerned about the matter. One U.S. defense official remarked, “We are aware of both the news reports and the public announcement that was made. Iran has made claims such as these in the past, and they have a tendency for not executing them.”  Another U.S. defense official released a similar statement saying, “It is crucial for the public to understand that at this time an announcement has been issued, not an actual deployment. We’ve dealt with threats from Iran like this in the past, and nothing amounted from them.” The defense official wished to be kept anonymous, due to the delicacy of the matter.

In response to their presence in the Gulf, the U.S. expressed that both the United States and its allies frequently make naval  exercises such as this to ensure that there is navigational freedom in the waterways that 40 percent of seaborne oil passes through. The U.S. presence that the Iranians speak of is that of the U.S Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain.

By Aaron Weis

Sources:

NBC
CNN
USA Today
Economic Times