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Iran's Armada of Two Sails Into U.S. Territorial Water

Updated on February 13, 2014
One of the ships sailing to the Atlantic
One of the ships sailing to the Atlantic
Iran's new stealth fighter?
Iran's new stealth fighter?

The Iranian government likes to make idle threats especially against anyone outside of its sphere of influence. They seem to relish the thought of a "David vs. Goliath" confrontation and always displays its prowess with new military hardware that seldom seems to be really real.

Before and during the current nuclear talks with Iran, many hardliners are not happy with some of the negotiating terms given to the West. Iran always uses its last stop during discussions, that is, we can retaliate, we have the military hardware to cause harm, we have equal capabilities like electronic warfare, armed drones, new stealth jet aircraft and maybe a nuclear bomb or two. Well, in the area of the Persian Gulf, this is absolutely true. Their missiles, their anti-ship missiles, their thousands of mines could create absolute havoc to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the shipping lanes that carries much of the world's oil to Europe. It would only take a few hijacked or sunk oil tankers to force the oil cost to jump to $120 a barrel or more and to put the world on edge. Iran's anti-ship missiles of Russian and Chinese origin are sophisticated and many warships and oil tankers are easy prey.

However,the recent deployment of two Iranian warships, a frigate and support ship, to sail and enter U.S. waters off the east coast really is a public relations stunt to appease the audience at home. The Iranian decision to deploy naval vessels to the North Atlantic is largely symbolic. These ships pose no threat, of course, but it is a political statement. Iran only has four warships that can make long range ocean deployments. Most of their other naval vessels can only be used in local waters. While Iran’s objection to the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf may have prompted its decision to send naval ships off the U.S. coast, the operation has more diplomatic than military significance. Though generally described as a “fleet” in media headlines, reports from the Iranian media indicate that the nation is sending only two ships — a destroyer and a helicopter transport vessel — on the voyage.

Iran is simply showing their population that they can deploy in other parts of the world to instill in national pride and to give America a taste of its own medicine with Iranian ships perched off the east coast. To most Americans, this is quite laughable. BTW, the U.S. Fifth Fleet that operates in the Persian Gulf and surrounding areas usually has a force of 20 or more ships, including a Carrier Battle Group, an Amphibious Ready Group, combat aircraft, and other support units and ships. So, that is another reason why Iran is projecting its miniscule naval power.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 3 years ago

      I agree, totally. They are masters at the political game.

    • profile image

      point2make 3 years ago

      Iran's sophistication lies in their "politics" and not in their power or technology. They are very adept at playing "the game" to serve their interest. Their strengths lie in political intrigue and high level negotiations not in any ill perceived military power. They are very aware of their "capabilities" and they also know in a shooting war...they lose! What makes the Iranians such an interesting case study is how they handle and shape their own place in the world community.

      We have tried to isolate Iran for 25 years or so and make them "behave" in the ways that we perceive to be correct. The Iranians have their own way of conducting themselves and most of the time it does not include asking "our" permission. Look at how the western leaders have handled the most recent "act" of Iran trying to create nuclear weapons.

      We have talked tough and placed, what some would have us believe, crippling sanctions on Iran for decades to get them to do our bidding. During that time they have managed to build a Civilian and Military nuclear program. They now have the capabilities of producing weapons grade plutonium which they have done and we can do nothing about it. We talked and acted tough but all the Iranian leaders had to do was say...."Hi how are you? ..Let's talk!!! and all the western leaders began falling all over themselves rushing to get in front of the TV cameras to take credit for "finally bringing the Iranians under control". Do you think the Iranian leadership is "quaking in their boots" or celebrating a victory, of sorts, over the Great Satan? I know what I think but then maybe I'm just being....... cynical!

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 3 years ago from Auburn, WA

      To me, they are laughable. One of CG cutters could take them down for sure. We should fly choppers over the ships and drop life vests with maps of the U.S. I worry more about them selling weapons to North Korea or helping the Iraqi "insurgents." Great article. Always thought-provoking.