Iranian Navy Holds Drills In Persian Gulf After Threats To Block Strait Of Hormuz

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Sunday confirmed rumors that they moved up the timing of a large naval drill in the Persian Gulf several days ahead of the Islamic Republic’s planned annual exercises, according to Reuters. State news agency IRNA said the war games were aimed at “confronting possible threats” from enemies.

Iranian Navy Holds Drills In Persian Gulf After Threats To Block Strait Of Hormuz

“This exercise was conducted with the aim of controlling and safeguarding the safety of the international waterway and within the framework of the program of the Guards’ annual military exercises,” Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif said, according to IRNA.

The U.S. military’s Central Command on Wednesday confirmed it has seen increased Iranian naval activity. The activity extended to the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for oil shipments the Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block. –Reuters

Iranian Navy Holds Drills In Persian Gulf After Threats To Block Strait Of Hormuz

While Iran didn’t comment on the size of the drill, Haaretz reported on Friday that “more than 100 vessels” would participate, citing a U.S. official.

The U.S. military’s Central Command on Wednesday confirmed it has seen an increase in Iranian naval activity, including in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for oil shipments that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block.

We are monitoring it closely, and will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways,” said Navy Captain Bill Urban, the chief spokesman at Central Command, which oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East. Central Command did not update its guidance on Thursday.

A third official said the Iranian naval operations did not appear to be affecting commercial maritime activity. –Haaretz

The Strait of Hormuz – a strategically critical passageway linking the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea which is crucial to shipping of global energy supplies – has emerged as a focal point in the escalating war of words between presidents Trump and Rouhani, after Iran threatened to block off the Persian Gulf if the US proceeds with fully implementing oil export sanctions on Iran.

Iranian Navy Holds Drills In Persian Gulf After Threats To Block Strait Of Hormuz

As we reported on Wednesday, officials told CNN that while the US sees no immediate signs of hostile intent from Iran, the IRGC show of force has US military intelligence “deeply concerned” for three fundamental reasons according to officials:

  • The exercise comes as rhetoric from the IRGC towards the US has accelerated in recent days.
  • It appears the IRGC is ramping up for a larger exercise this year than similar efforts in the past.
  • The timing is unusual. These types of IRGC exercises typically happen much later in the year.

In the US military’s assessment, the IRGC has assembled a fleet of more than 100 boats, many of them small fast moving vessels. It’s expected Iranian air and ground assets including coastal defensive missile batteries could be involved, while  hundreds of Iranian troops are expected to participate and some regular Iranian forces could be involved as well.

The IRGC exercise comes as the US has only one major warship, the USS The Sullivans inside the Persian Gulf, several officials say. Other US warships are nearby and there are numerous combat aircraft in the region.

The US military has been trying to encourage other nations in the region, especially Saudi Arabia to take a strong line on keeping the Gulf open in the face of rising Iranian rhetoric. They have also expressed concern about keeping open the waterways off Yemen where Iranian backed rebels have attacked oil tankers.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, responding to rising Iranian rhetoric said last Friday, “Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz. They’ve done that previously in years past. They saw the international community put — dozens of nations of the international community put their naval forces in for exercises to clear the straits.”

And the punchline:

“Clearly, this would be an attack on international shipping, and — and it would have, obviously, an international response to reopen the shipping lanes with whatever that took, because of the world’s economy depends on that energy, those energy supplies flowing out of there.”

And with the public response to any attack on Syria now virtually nil after two consecutive military strikes, if Trump feels he is in urgent need of an international distraction from mounting domestic problems, namely the upcoming conclusion of the Mueller probe which now includes questions about obstruction of justice, Trump may have no choice than to aim for Iran… an outcome Israel would be delighted to assist with.

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  • Bobby Twoshoes

    If they actually started providing the Houthis some real support beyond humanitarian supplies they could close the Bab al-Mandab strait, then the West would have to deal with BRICS on less than favorable terms or they couldn’t even go back to the Cape of Good Hope routes. Imagine the “great” colonial powers being shut out of intercontinental trade :)

  • Drogba

    Iran and it’s Allies should target the real aggressor against its people,Israhell ,,and make it pay a heavy price for its warmongering .the war they start should be brought right up to their government and their homes doorsteps.

  • Rob

    SAA and allies should first liberate all areas from ISIS then think about Idlib, Aleppo, Raqqa, Hassaka, Al-Tanf and Golan Heights.

    Now the SAA strength increased to 600,000. SAA should not waste their time. SAA should decide immediately and speedup their offensive against these global terrorists US, NATO and Israel. As long as pro Trump forces and pro Benjanyahu forces are there in Syria they will suck economy of Syria.

  • Rob

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AleQP0SrThY

    US begs for fight with every one. Then this will happen to US.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    USA and Allies cannot do anything once Iran close Ormuz…No ship will risk crossing Ormuz…USA would have to invade Iran and deploy 1.000.000 soldiers there to guarantee safe sailing through the strait..

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      you understand the logistics, to put somewhere, 1mil soldiers? They dont have that ability. As for invading Iran good luck to them. But first, they need to find a place big enough to bury their dead, before they attempt it.

  • russ

    We are talking about planes and ships and mines? The real kicker is the antiship missiles Iran has. Here’s one that was first ready in 1978, about 5 generations old and it is still unstoppable…..

    The P-270 Moskit (Russian: П-270 «Москит»; English: Mosquito) is a Soviet supersonic ramjet powered anti-ship cruise missile. Its GRAU designation is 3M80, air launched variant is the Kh-41 and its NATO reporting name is SS-N-22 Sunburn. The missile system was designed by the Raduga Design Bureau during the 1970s as a follow up to the “SS-N-9 Siren”.
    The Moskit was originally designed to be ship-launched, but variants
    have been adapted to be launched from land (modified trucks), underwater
    (submarines) and air (reportedly the Sukhoi Su-33, a naval variant of the Sukhoi Su-27), as well as on the Lun-class ekranoplan. The missile can carry conventional and nuclear warheads.
    The exact classification of the missile is unknown, with varying types
    reported. This uncertainty is due to the secrecy surrounding an active
    military weapon. The Moskit is one of the missiles known by the NATO codename SS-N-22 Sunburn.

    Design

    It reaches a speed of Mach 3 (3,675 km/h; 2,284 mph) at high altitude and
    Mach 2.2 at low-altitude. This speed is 4.25 to 3 times more than speed
    of the subsonic American Harpoon. When slower missiles, like the Harpoon or the French Exocet
    are used, the maximum theoretical response time for the defending ship
    is 120 to 150 seconds. This long response time provides time to launch
    countermeasures and employ jamming before deploying “hard” defense
    systems such as missiles and close-in weapon systems.
    But the high speed of the 3M82 “Mosquito” missiles reduce the maximum
    theoretical response time for the defending ship to 25 to 30 seconds.
    This short response time makes jamming and countermeasures very
    difficult, and firing missiles and quick-firing artillery even more
    difficult. The Moskit was designed to be employed against smaller NATO
    naval groups in the Baltic Sea (Danish and German) and the Black Sea
    (Turkish) and non-NATO vessels in the Pacific (Japanese, South Korean,
    etc.), and to defend the Russian mainland against NATO amphibious
    assault.[3]
    The missile can perform intensive anti-defense maneuvers with overloads
    in excess of 10g, which completed for 9 km before the target.[1][4][5]

    Variants of the missile have been designated 3M80M, 3M82 (Moskit M).[6]
    The P-270 designation is believed to be the initial product codename
    for the class of missile, with the Russian Ministry of Defense GRAU indices
    (starting with 3M) designating the exact variant of the missile. The
    3M80 was its original model. The 3M80M model (also termed 3M80E for
    export) was a 1984 longer range version of the missile, with the latest
    version with the longest range being the 3M82 Moskit M. The ASM-MSS /
    Kh-41 variant is the 1993 air-launched version of the missile.[7]

    The 3M80MVE variant has an optional longer 240 km range through a
    second, high-altitude flight profile setting, however using the higher
    altitude profile would make the missile detectable at much greater
    distances.[8]

  • Hisham Saber

    People, if Iran is attacked, or the situation escalates because a ‘ coalition’ want to enforce an embargo/sanctions by not letting Iran export oil and natural gas, there would be a wide ranging regional war. The first set of priorities is that Iran will bombard, saturation style, all oil and gas infrastructure in the entire Gulf region, putting Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, etc out of the oil business.

    This first opening salvo will in effect sabotage the Petro-dollar as the international monetary reserve. Simply put, the global Jewish monetary scheme, that’s been enforced by the west for centuries now, will collapse in very short order.

    Secondly, Israel will be inundated with ballistic missile bombardment at a scale never seen before. Iran has every square foot/meter of Israel mapped out for ballistic missile bombardment in redundancy. If Israel decides to go unconventional, mass destruction will be mutually assured. Same goes for the U.S., since time and again, Iran has stated that any attack by the U.S., would instantly draw in Israel as a target for annihilation.

    If Hezbollah ahs an estimated 100,000 missiles, with the newer versions being very accurate, then imagine what a big nation like Iran, with 80 million people, and who has been gearing up for this exact confrontation since 1979, imagine their ballistic missile/missile capability.

    All U.S., British , French troops in the wider region would be overwhelmed and annihilated, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Jordan(which would be quickly overrun), Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait etc. The IDF of Israel will also be quickly routed and annihilated. This is a zero sum equation for Iran. War means total war, to the bitter end.

    Iran has over 17 million Basij volunteers with minimum military experience, but very determined and hard core. It has at least 1,5 million in its armed forces, and about 5-6 million in reserve it can muster.

    Couple that with Shia volunteers from all over the world, as the Muslim Shia are about 183 million, they would instantly be involved in this war.

    Israel would cease to exist. Simply put. It and its allies would simply be overwhelmed. Add to this the Syrian Arab Army, 5-600,000 strong, the NDF, about 3-400,000 combat experienced force, about 25-30,000 Afghan volunteers, many Chechen veterans and volunteers, Hezbollah, which can muster hundreds of thousands and perhaps more under full mobilization.

    So, an attack on Iran, or an attempt to destroy it financially by way of oil and gas blockage, would dramatically change the map of the entire Middle East and Central Asia.

    U.S., British and French troops and bases and influence would be squashed, and they will permanently be expelled from the regions I mentioned for good. Israel would go back to being Palestine, run by Palestinians, and China mostly, but also Russia would replace them as a new paradigm in world affairs takes hold. The OBR , Silk Road will, and is already replacing the U.S., and co.’s hegemony and Jewish financial control over the world that has caused so much death and destruction, unnecessary human suffering.

    • Brother Ma

      Why Chechen veterans? Surely they are Sunni and as we have seen love Saud and Erdoganistan?

      • Hisham Saber

        These Chechen veterans are the same guys who effectively routed the Kiev military in the Donbass in 2015. Once the Chechens, whom are Mr. Khadyrov’s men, were sent to the Donbass, the situation for the forces of the Jewish Kiev Junta was hopeless, as we saw in the Battle for the Donetsk Airport, or the shredding of whole armored columns by very accurate artillery and flanking maneuvers of ATGM teams, and commando/special forces.

        Now these guys are in Syria, embedded with the Syrian Arab Army, mostly with the spearhead forces of the Tiger Forces and 4th Armored Division. They are working for the Russian MoD, but yet still many volunteers are present. These Chechens are legendary fighters are operationally similar in their tactics as Hezbollah. Chechens don’t buy into the Shia / Sunni bullcrap divide and conquer strategy of the Zionists. They know a righteous cause when they feel there is oppression which all righteous Muslims should stand up against and fight. Islam speaks in the language of self defense.

        And if things go to armed clashes and war again in the Donbass, believe it, the Chechens will be there too.

        • Brother Ma

          Yes i do know of the Moslem soldiers of Russia fighting against Germany in WWII. A pity some like the Crimean Tartars -read Turks-fought with them.
          Yes ,i do know that many military police in Syria from Russia are Chechens. Fair enough.

          Good ,the quicker to kill these headchopper Takfiris in Syria or Iran the better for all of us.