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Iran Navy Begins “Massive Drill” Stretching Across World’s Key Oil Chokepoints

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Iran’s navy has begun a three day war game exercise on Friday in the Persian Gulf, in an expansive area encompassing Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, to the Sea of Oman and even stretching to northern parts of the Indian Ocean, state media reports. Some reports indicate the games could go on for as much as a week, but all emphasized the “large-scale” nature of the drills in which Iran’s navy will showcase the Fateh-class submarine — a domestically built sub carrying cruise missiles and torpedoes, as well as its Sahand destroyer.

The cruise missile-firing capable Fateh, or “Conqueror”, was launched for the first time at the start of this week and has been touted as “state-of-the-art” and with the ability to stay underwater for five weeks at a time. Crucially, the large exercises come after last week’s US-sponsored Warsaw conference in which both Israeli and US officials made threats of war with Tehran. Indeed during the conference Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu openly stated that he was attending the summit with an aim to “advance the common interest of war with Iran.”

Iran Navy Begins "Massive Drill" Stretching Across World's Key Oil Chokepoints

Iran state media montage from the first day of the military games.

The games also come at a time when even foreign policy establishment insiders, such as the Council on Foreign Relation’s Steven Cook, increasingly acknowledge that the White House’s “march to war against Iran” is now “echoing the drumbeats” of the lead up to the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Writing in Foreign Policy, Cook warns:

Taken together—the Warsaw conference, Pence’s bullying of the Europeans, Bolton’s threatening video, and the broader background noise in Washington—the events of the past week were familiar in a foreboding way. The chatter about Iran has not become the war fever that gripped Washington in 2002 over Iraq, but the echoes of that year are not hard to miss in the Trump administration’s effort to shape the domestic and international debate about Iran.

Iran’s drills in the coming days will further involve battleship exercises and amphibious and anti-amphibious warfare maneuvers, according to Iranian military statements.

Though there’s general agreement that Iran’s navy poses no match of US superiority on the sea and in the skies, Iran seeks to be a significant disruptor of American Persian Gulf capabilities.

Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, commander of Iran’s navy, reflected this in comments announcing the inauguration of the games: “For the first time, these weapons will be tested seriously and we can make the maritime region unsafe for the enemy in any way possible,” he said. He said the games, formally called “Velayat 97,” will begin 2km from the Strait of Hormuz and extend 10 degrees north of the Indian Ocean, in an extended zone some analysts worry may indicate broader intentions regarding Oman and Yemen.

Iran Navy Begins "Massive Drill" Stretching Across World's Key Oil Chokepoints

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzad describing the extent of the “Velayat 97” games.

As the Jerusalem Post summarizes of this concern, “In Yemen Iran has supported the Houthi rebels who have used Iranian technology to target Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles.” And recently, “In addition Oman enjoys decent relations with Iran but Oman also hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year and has sought to play a role in the Israel-Palestinian peace efforts.”

In the past, Iranian war games have resulted in close encounters with US warships traversing parts of the Persian Gulf. But this somewhat “routine” occurrence could potentially spark a major incident considering the high level of aggressive rhetoric coming out of Washington at this time.

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  • BlueInGreen

    The new Fateh submarine will be used in these exercises and will be reportedly using sub-launched cruise missiles.

    If successful, the sub-launched cruise missiles will give Iran a second strike capability if they so choose to produce and field nuclear weapons.

    • Sinbad2

      I think the US will force Iran to manufacture nukes.
      The Americans are like a clan of Hyena’s, putting some of them down is the only defense against them.

      • BlueInGreen

        There’s serious talk amongst Iranian defense from enthusiasts regarding Irans ability to produce a nuke in short order should the situation become dire enough.

        As it stands, Iran has a literal mountain of weapons platforms to launch a nuke from, thousands of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, etc. It all really depends on what the future has in store.

        • Sinbad2

          They need yellowcake, which is hard to get.

          • Zionism = EVIL

            Not really, Iran has plenty of yellow cake from domestic extraction and 400 tons were obtained from South Africa. To test a nuke is a political decision and it would make sense considering the Saudi scum are getting nuclear technology from Americunts and Pakis. Iran should test a nuke and let the chips fall where they may.

            Iranian nuclear chief said here Monday that Iran has extracted yellowcake domestically for industrial use in nuclear technology.

            “Iran has transferred the first yellowcake consignment from Saghand
            uranium mine in the central Yazd Province to the uranium conversion
            facility (UFC) in Isfahan,” Press TV quoted Head of the Atomic Energy
            Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, as saying.

            Also, since the implementation of nuclear deal in January 2016, Iran has imported around 400 tonnes of yellowcake.

            Iran has sold its enriched uranium to a number of countries,
            including the United States, Salehi said at a ceremony to celebrate
            National Nuclear Technology Day.

            Yellowcake is a type of uranium concentrate powder obtained from
            leach solutions, in an intermediate step in the processing of uranium
            ores. It is a step in the processing of uranium after it has been mined
            but before fuel fabrication or uranium enrichment

          • Hisham Saber

            I for once agree. Iran should test a nuke, right on Tel Aviv. Let the chips fall where they may. Just act the fool.

          • Mase fah

            emmm wrong again they have tons of that and they can produce it locally.

          • Hisham Saber

            BS, You have no idea what your talking about. Iran already has uranium and plutonium in large capacities, but are enriched below 25%, i.e. for civilian applications. Should the Iranians wish, they could enrich to 98%, weapons grade in weeks. That’s if they haven’t already just in case. Iran has uranium and plutonium underground in the country. They sure aren’t getting it from outside sources.

            Yellowcake? Really ? Amateur hour.

      • Zionism = EVIL

        Iranian mullahs need to get their head out of their arse and give the go ahead for testing a nuke. Iran can enrich uranium to 90% in a month if it chose to. Only a nuclear deterrent will make Iran immortal. Even third rate bankrupt beggars and terror haven like Pakistan obtained nukes and that is why India has not attacked despite almost daily cross border terrorism. DPRK is an other good example. The Zionist savages also have nukes and will only shut the fuck up if Iran also had nuclear deterrent.

        • Mase fah

          wrong again. Iran has been immortal for 7000 years after the arabs, mongols and ottomans tried to wipe the history but we can see they are at the moment in very strong position without nukes, Who dares to capture 16US soldiers and make them put thier hand in head in these day and age??? IRAN.

          US or any country wont attack because they will lose badly, thats the truth

          • Hisham Saber

            The Arabs brought Iran-Persia Islam, the Mongols soon adopted Islam en masse. So what is the problem? Look, the average Arab of the Arab street has no problem with Iran, as Iranians don’t have a problem with average Arabs. Its the criminal Arab regimes who have sold out their countries and peoples and are subservient to the dictates of Washington and Tel Aviv that must, and will be wiped out soon.

          • Mase

            Well if you noticed, Arabs forced Islam to iran with sword and bloodshed, this is facts bunch of savages, Two choice accept or die! So really they had only one option, but one thing Arabs or Islam couldn’t do was to change language, new year nor custom. they were clever to create a sect (Shia) to keep all they had from old days and you can see this differences when they celebrate we mourn. In regards with the Arab tribes that are occupying southern parts of Iran which was done during British colonial, don’t worry we will get them all back and send them back to the desert they came from. Only one wrong move. We wait to that day

          • Hisham Saber

            We enlightened you Persians. Then go ahead, go back to worshipping fire.

            Alexander the Great brought the sword, so did the Byzantines. Pre-Islamic Persian armies thought they could wipe the new Arab faith of Islam from the face of the earth, instead, we brought you sciences, discipline and faith in the Creator of all that is created. Thus many Persian scientists were instrumental in the 1000 year Islamic Golden Age. Until the bastard Ottomans ruined it all for the Arabs by selling them out. As a consequence the Islamic Arab wor;d suffered, and still does. Im Arab, and Im a big fan of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

            How was worshipping created things going for ya?

          • Garga

            I know it’s very popular to say Arabs “invaded” Iran and forced Islam on it’s population, but logic dictates it couldn’t be the case.
            Look at all the lands that are conquered. The first thing which disappears is the language and traditions and it’s evident in many places, ancient or new, like all the northern Africa, Levant and Mesopotamia, India, southern Caucasus and central Asia region, Britain, Spain, etc.
            Today you can hardly find anybody who understands the language they used to speak just 1000 years ago in those places (even Greece). Considering writing changes for reasons other than conquest, even if somebody reads the 1000 years old text for them, they wouldn’t understand it.
            British wouldn’t understand one single phrase from Beowulf or Chaucer, Indians don’t understand Mharbharata, Syrians and Lebanese don’t understand Bible and Georgians, Azerbaijanis and Armenians won’t understand Sa’adi and Hafiz.

            It’s not the case for Iran. We all understand and enjoy Shahnameh, Safarnameh and Rudaki and we also would understand most of Pahlavi texts of Sassanid era if someone reads them for us. Even a few words from the Cyrus cylinder and Darius engravings are recognizable.

            The other point is tradition as you point it out. We still celebrate Nowrooz, Yalda and 13 bedar. Up to 50 years ago we still built our houses exactly we used to built them thousands of years ago and we still use ancient Persian architecture in large buildings, mosques and various other types of structures. Our ancient beliefs fused into our religion. That’s another sign which says Iran was not conquered by force.

            These are the reasons to take “history” as written for us by Europeans with a grain of salt. There are countless examples of huge lies in our history, like Arabs ground wheat into flour by turning the mill with blood of Iranians (anybody who saw blood one time in their lifetime understands what nonsense it is) or Safavid cannibals.

            The point is, Iran accepted the new religion. You can’t change people’s belief by force (Soviets tried that for 70 years and as soon as the force removed, people returned into their old beliefs and this time even stronger. Today Christianity and Islam is very strong in former Soviet lands) but language and tradition change in conquered lands.
            Iran and Islam complete each other and they are inseparable. Just look at any mosque anywhere in the world and you see Iran.

            While I agree with many things that @hishamsaber says, in this particular subject he repeats the history as west wrote for us and some wrong about worshiping fire. Zoroastrianism don’t worship fire and in fact is, the first monotheist religion of the world, but I understand in some countries, Iranians are presented as such and heretics.

      • Mase fah

        Iran is more powerful without nuke, whats the point having them if you never going to use them, all the billions going waste for having them. The homemade arsenal is enough to destroy US interest in under 10min. Plus people think nukes are top of the list, sadly you wrong if you work in field of plasma

  • Sinbad2

    When the US 5th fleet fled the Persian Gulf in fear of Russian Kalibr missiles, it allowed Iran to reclaim the Persian Gulf.
    The oily Arabs are living in fear that they might lose their Ferrari’s.

    • Zionism = EVIL

      To be honest, the Arab puppet regimes are no real threat to Iran as the pip squeaks hide behind their Zionist and Americunt masters. These small Persian Gulf pimpdoms neither have the manpower or strategic mass to last even a day against Iran. A single missile hit on Dubai can wipe out the puppet UAE colony as the foreigners who make up 90% of the population will flee, much like the Zionist entity.

    • Mase fah

      emmm in fear of Iran power not russian klaibr missile, Sadly people under estimate Iran because it dosent poses nuclear. Iran has a power to go against US so they can go against Russia and China if one day the philosophy changes. I like Russia but they are certanly no god and iran will never rely on them for anything.

    • Mase fah

      PLUS DIDNT NO ONE HEAR IRAN HAS BEEN INFILTRATE THE US DRONE COMMAND AND CONTROL AND THEY WERE FEEDING ALL IMAGES TO IRAN. AND TO ACTUALLY BRAG ABOUT IT AND SHOW THEM THEY DID THAT. NO COUNTRY

  • Pave Way IV

    No point in wasting all that money on military gear, Iran. The US will always outspend you. I think we promised Israel that in some unconstitutional, secret treaty.

    Besides, the intelligent way to properly oppose the neocon psychopaths running my country is to have a brief, intense war… that you lose on purpose. My country will step in and write you a new constitution, have a rigged vote and install a western-friendly puppet government.

    You just let us do all this without complaining. Instead, make a big show of ‘thanking’ us for bringing our westernized democracy to Persia. Please pretend your Cyrus the Great didn’t have that idea 2,500 years ago – it will embarrass us because we like to think we invented the idea.

    Then, after the trap has been set, begin the insurgency and slowly grind the US into financial Armageddon. We can’t win a war inside another nation against it’s own people -and- prop up an unpopular puppet government at the same time. It costs too much, even for the US. Afghanistan and Iraq bankrupted the US. How long do you think we would last here in the US while pouring money into a giant Iran counter-insurgency operation? Another US Coalition of Evil wouldn’t help a bit. In fact, that would be a good chance to take down those Wahhabi chimps and a good portion of Europe at the same time.

    When everyone is broke and fighting civil wars back home against their own people, you can politely boot the invaders out and then have a good laugh about the whole affair. “Hey – remember when the former US ‘beat’ us? Haw ha ha… that was f’king HILARIOUS!”

  • Patriotic_White_American

    That’s cute lol, maybe the US should remind Iran would destroy their entire navy in almost a single day during the 80’s

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Praying_Mantis

    • Andrei

      Can you please tell me where Americans have ever won a war in the history. ????
      Americans bring only death…
      America is not capable of stabilizing a country and win the trust of people…
      I know American has big army and bla bla bla… every empire has his end… nobody’s invincible . Do you think that if a war Iran vs US..will ever happen you will be safe in American soil?? If yes you are so dreamer… I don’t keep the side of nobody’s but Iran is far more powerful than you have ever thought.. I want only peace.. but America doesn’t want Peace they want war for profits… eventually US Will sink in his own problems

      • Zionism = EVIL

        He is not an American and posts on Iran only items for hasbara. He is shameless clown who people make fun of every day. Every post is lie or fabrication :)

    • Zionism = EVIL

      hahaha real cute Jew boy, any mention of Iran and hasbarats come out of the woodwork. Do you even know where Iran is? posting crap from Wikipedia like a ten year old :)

    • Hisham Saber

      In every wargame scenario the Pentagon war planners initiate against Iran, the U.S. / Israel come out losers, big-time.

      A war against Iran and the U.S. Petro-dollar would collapse overnight. Within minutes, all the oil and gas infrastructure of the entire MENA region and perhaps beyond would be bombarded in redundancy by high explosive, high yield warhead tipped ballistic missiles. Look, Iran has been preparing for the coming showdown since 1979. They are serious, and are very prepared.

      A war with Iran would ultimately see the U.S., British, French expelled from the entire Middle East, with China happy to fill the void. And the Zionist entity occupying Palestine would cease to exist.

      Otherwise, Iran would have been attacked long ago. Iran is a large country with 90 million people, strategically situated. The U.S./ Israel and co. may attack Iran, and start a regional war, that could go global, but Iran would be in the position of finishing said war.

      • Patriotic_White_American

        Nice try but Iran already got their asses kicked and navy sunk in the 80’s. So everything you wrote was bullshit LOL

        Operation Praying Mantis

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Praying_Mantis

        Half the Iranian navy sunk with no casualties

        Don’t fuck with America little kiddies, you’ll get fucked up

        • RichardD

          Today’s Iranian military is a far cry from what it was 30 years ago. Much of the technology and capability gap with NATO has been closed. Iran borders Russia and would receive substantial Russian support in the event of any conflict with Israel and NATO, just like Syria is.

          • Patriotic_White_American

            They will be obliterated by America, quickly and brutally if they fired on our forces, just like in the 80’s except it would be worse for them this time

            Russia won’t even support Syria in face of audacious Israeli strikes, nice fantasy though retard lol

          • Concrete Mike

            Like that time you shot down a civilian airliner…

            Duhhhh he turned aggressively towards the ship…

            Eat a shit sandwich will ya.

      • RichardD

        I agree with much of what you write. Except that you never address the nuclear weapons use issue. Which can’t be avoided when dealing with Israel. Which came close to using nukes against Syria and Egypt in 73, and would use them against Iran unless deterred by the prospect of nukes being used against them where they would come out on the worse end of any exchange.

        Conventionally it looks like Israel is out gunned by Iran. Considering Iran’s ability to shut down the IAF by destroying it’s facilities and aircraft on the ground with precision missile strikes using the Russian satcom system. If the Russians let them use it. How much autonomous precision missile strike capability Iran has is open to debate. Though I’m sure that it’s not insignificant. And Iran’s ability to overwhelm and or neutralize Israel’s air defense system. Making Israel considerably more vulnerable to follow on missile attacks.

        IDF ground forces would be useless against Iran because of the distance that they’d have to travel through hostile territory to get to Iran.

        Israel’s go to plan is to get NATO involved on it’s side. But unlike the Israeli public, the NATO public and non FUKUS Jew 3 NATO governments have little interest in that.

    • verner

      hey, eat more fish ’cause it’s supposed improve your intelligence and that is something that obviously is in short supply where you are concerned. suggest you .feck off to the trailer, trailer trash and see
      what you can do about it – navy, that’s to ward off the morons if they try to do a 6th of june 1945 again but the missiles, those are aimed straight at the heart of the matter, ras tanura and fujairah and and and what have you of economic artery on the west side of the gulf and that is something mbs just can’t afford to lose. so sorry to say, little hitler netanyahu will have to find another goat than mbs to lead to the slaughter.

  • Zionism = EVIL

    Iran needs to invest in helicopter carriers and more FAC to saturate the Persian Gulf from Khorramshahr to Chah Bahar. Iran’s 2200 kms coastline is a defence planner dream, dotted with coves, marches, mountains and islands. Hardened bomb proof submarine and FAC pens are very easy to build on Iranian topography as the recent images of the large underground missile factory showed.

  • BL

    Sorry but I don’t see any possibility of war. It’s almost unimaginable. The US just lost in Syria and are about to admit defeat in Afghanistan. They would have to be beyond stupid (Even by American standards) to start a war against Iran.

    • Brother Thomas

      “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” HL Mencken.

  • verner

    and just think about all those loading facilities on the saudi- and kuwait- and emirate- and oman-side of the gulf, just a stone throw from Iran’s coastline – just think ras tanura being hit by a number of missiles from iran and the income stream for mohammed bin salman would be halved in minutes and years to get back in operation. and the same for any and all emirate-facilities.hard to maintain the lifestyle they are accustomed to if the income from the only valuable commodity they have is reduced to a trickle.

    so a war against iran is not the most likely scenario right now so the child-killers/molestors in tel aviv will have to find some other means to wage war against Iran. they can’t undertake it themselves so they are in dire straits and desperate to get on with it. the little hitler-copy netanyahu is hard up when even his side-kick, jared kushner, can’t have a gullible father in law set the things in motion.

    and as to hitler-copy netanyahu, hitler and netanyahu both operated/operates death-camps, although hitler was far more efficient and netanyahu just have one, gaza, where the most prominent feature is the ethnic cleansing program for a comlete depalestination. can it get any better.