Iran Navy. Most of us don’t use those two words together in a serious sentence. They sound almost like the start of a “two guys walked into a bar” joke. Make no mistake, though. The Iranian Navy – and its subsidiary branch in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard – takes itself seriously. Iran’s Admiral Ali Fadavi, who heads up the naval wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (which is at least nominally separate from the regular navy in Iran) is making big claims about targeting US ships ‘in the event of war,’ and calling United States Navy aircraft carriers “easy targets.”
Of course, the idea that Iran’s navy would want to target US ships should war break out between the two countries should come as no big shocker. That’s what navies do when wars break out, and it’s reasonably certain the Pentagon has considered the possibility that the Iran navy – in whatever form- will attempt to sink US ships – including US aircraft carriers – in the event that a shooting war ever develops between the US and Iran.
Adm. Fadavi seems intent on rattling his saber in the general direction of the United States Navy in the meanwhile. Iran is currently building a mockup of the USS Nimitz – America’s largest aircraft carrier – so that the Iran navy can blow it up. The Iranian admiral has expressed his confidence in his flotilla’s ability to sink large American warships based on similar exercises the Iranian navy has conducted in the past. According to an AP report, Fadavi, who claims they have destroyed carrier-sized mockups in less than a minute in Iran navy exercises, said:
“Aircraft carriers are the symbol of America’s military might. The carriers are responsible for supplying America’s air power. So, it’s natural that we want to sink the carriers.”
For their part, the Pentagon doesn’t seem overly concerned. Naval officials point out that it’s one thing to sink a slow-moving mockup of a ship that isn’t carrying any aircraft and another thing entirely to sink an actual armed warship that fires back and carries the world’s most advanced aircraft. According to an ABC News report, Cmdr. Jason Salata of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet – stationed in the Gulf Region – put it this way:
“Whatever Iran hopes to do with the mock-up, it is likely to have zero impact on U.S. Navy operations in the Gulf. Firing weapons at a stationary structure floating on pontoons is not a realistic representation of having the capability to target a 100,000-ton warship maneuvering at speeds in excess of 30 knots.”
This isn’t the first time the Iran navy has tried to put together a show of force. They’ve warned the U.S. Navy to stay out of the gulf region before. Like the North Koreans, they generally come across as a chihuahua that fancies itself a pit bull.
Fortunately, the Iran navy admiral has shown that he can be reasonable. While he claims to have turned down an American request for a hotline to contact the Iran navy in case of emergency, he has said, “Nothing bad will happen if they (the US Navy) leave the region.” No word on whether the U.S. Navy or the Pentagon breathed a sigh of relief when they got word of the Iran navy admiral’s offer of clemency.
[Image via Shutterstock]