Iran is expected to deploy its most advanced homemade destroyer and other warships to waters in the Atlantic Ocean near the shores of the United States starting in March, marking the second time the rogue regime sends its navy to the region, the Islamic Republic’s naval commander reportedly revealed Friday.
Tehran’s revelation came after Iranian Rear Adm. Touraj Hassani, the commander, reportedly said last month that Iran was planning to deploy two to three combat vessels, including the newly domestically-built destroyer named the Sahand, on a mission to the anti-U.S. socialist country of Venezuela, right in America’s backyard.
“The Atlantic Ocean is far and the operation of the Iranian naval flotilla might take five months,” Iranian Rear Adm. Touraj Hassani told the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), noting that the flotilla will leave on March 21, Reuters reports.
Hassani identified the Sahand, named after a mountain in Iran, as one of the ships the Islamic Republic will send to the Atlantic.
In December, Iran’s state-owned media noted that the 1,300-ton Sahand, identified as Tehran’s “most advanced” destroyer, is capable of traveling an estimated five months without refueling. Iran has reportedly equipped the warship with a helicopter landing pad, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft batteries, sophisticated radar, as well as radar-evading capabilities.
Iran, considered the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism by the United States, thinks the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf is a threat, claiming that its navy is seeking to combat that security concern by showing its flag near American waters.
“A senior Iranian military official said last month that the navy could sail in the Atlantic near U.S. waters since U.S. 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,” Reuters notes.
Iran’s scheduled naval deployment in March marks the second time the Islamic Republic has deployed warships to the Atlantic Ocean.
Tehran first deployed its navy to the region two years ago as a show of “the Islamic Republic’s power,” Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, the then-commander of the Iranian navy, declared.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration — which has heavily sanctioned the Iranian regime’s oil, banking, and shipping, among other — has vowed to combat the Islamic Republic’s nefarious activities, triggering a war of words between the American commander-in-chief and Tehran.
Last month, Iran promised to ensure that “no oil” is exported from the Persian Gulf if the United States moves ahead with restrictions on Iran’s oil industry, threatening to blockade strait of Hormuz in the region.
According to the latest Global Firepower (GFP) index, which ranks 133 countries annually, the United States military is the most powerful fighting force in the globe, trailed by Russia, China, India, respectively.