Tuesday, January 21, 2014

IRAN NAVY COMING TO THE ATLANTIC ...Delusions of Granduer?


US Navy Photo No.100820-N-7317W-128 U.S. mariners approach the Iranian navy ship Chiroo in a rigid-hull inflatable boat from the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).jpg

Update 10/30/2015 Yesterday we read news articles in which the Iranian Navy is again announcing plans to visit the Atlantic in late 2015 or early 2016. We believe everything in this post still holds true of this next planned visit.

 On January 21, 2014 UPI carried a story about warships of Iran departing Iran for Atlantic waters. Supposedly their purpose was to "protect the country's cargo ships and oil tankers. Really we have to ask, protect them from what in the Atlantic. There are no ships involved in enforcing the sanctions on Iran for her unrepentant stance on nuclear proliferation. The screws on sanctions are being tightened at custom houses, and banks. Load all the tankers you want with oil, that doesn't mean that any UN member participating in sanctions ha sto let your tanker in or buy oil from you. Considering that the Atlantic is the home of the EU's combined fleets, the Nato Fleet, The U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and Brazil's growing navy surely Iran doesn't think they are going to shoot their way into ports that don't want their ships are carrying.

 The "fleet" as Iran calls it appears to be two ships a khargclass logistic support ship capable of carrying and operating helicopters and a Sabalan class destroyer. Maybe by the time they get to the Atlantic they might add a destroyer or two. The move appears to be a PR stunt, "hey Western Powers we have a navy that can reach you". Well that's true of most any navy traveling in peace time. As long as the Atlantic powers are observing formally the international concepts of freedom of the seas the war ships of Iran or anywhere else may pass through the High Seas anywhere unobstructed. The reality is that the West isn't impressed or worried about their malevolence. Their so called fleet is a fly swat away from being crushed if they were to actually make any trouble. We expect what the West is enjoying about the excursion is seeing Iran waste money and discovering the hard way how expensive and difficult it is to maintain a distant naval presence. Of course in six months or so the "fleet" will return to Iran amid great government fanfare for having "carried the fight to the enemy". We used to run some gambling ships out of Galveston that pretty much accomplished the same thing in reality. The ships left the docks at Galveston proceeded out beyond the territorial sea and once in International waters opened the gambling tables. It was dubbed "the cruise to nowhere.


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