Iran to send warships close to United States waters

Iran's Sahand Warship

Iranian Navy Flotilla to Voyage Into Atlantic Waters Mehr News Agency

While Iran's navy and Revolutionary guard vessels often harass American warships in the Persian Gulf, close to their home waters, it remains unclear how they might behave in the vast open waters of the Atlantic, especially under the watchful eye of the far superior USA military.

Iranian state-run broadcaster IRNA quoted deputy naval commander Admiral Touraj Hasnai Moqaddam as saying the "Iranian mission would take five months to complete" and would likely begin early in 2019.

Notably, Iran's deputy army chief for coordination affairs, Habibollah Sayyari, said in December that the USA navy was allowed to sail in worldwide waters near the Islamic Republic - just as the Iranian navy could sail in the Atlantic Ocean near the US.

The new deployment will comprise the new guided missile frigate destroyer escort Sahand, which was unveiled just last month, and the recently upgraded 33,000-ton fuel ship Kharg.

Iran is to send its newest warship to the Atlantic Ocean on a five-month mission - the navy's longest in a decade, as the Republic seeks to increase the operating range of its naval forces to the backyard of the United States, its arch-foe.

In recent years, Iranian ships have extended their reach to the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to protect commercial vessels from pirate attacks. The application was created to be five months, this was the longest Mission of the Navy of the last ten years.

It has a flight deck for helicopters, torpedo launchers, as well as anti-aircraft and anti-ship guns.

The tension between Iran and the USA has mounted after President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the global nuclear agreement reached under his predecessor and his move to reinstate harsh economic sanctions on Tehran.

When the John C Stennis warship entered the Gulf, Iran Revolutionary Guard speedboats shadowed the vessel as tensions remain high.

Iran has since threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, through which one third of all crude oil traded by sea passes.

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