Iran launched a submarine and a destroyer into the Persian Gulf this morning from the country’s Bandar Abbas Port according to Reuters. The Iranian Navy on direct orders from their religious leader Ayatollah Khameni deployed a Russian made Tareq-901 Submarine and a Sahand destroyer as reported by the IRNA the official news agency of Iran.
These two ships from the Iranian Navy are being launched as the United States is taking part in an international exercise in the Gulf of Persian. The U.S. in conjunction with 30 other Navies is partaking in an exercise known as IMCMEX-12, or International Mine Countermeasures Exercises.
The international exercise included naval forces participating from countries such as Britain, France, and New Zealand. The objective of the exercise “is about mines and the International effort to clear them,” according to U.S. Navy Vice Admiral John W. Miller, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
The Tareq-901 the Iranian Navy launched into the Gulf of Persia is a diesel-electrical submarine that Iran has domestically overhauled and upgraded after receiving it from Russia. The Iranian Military has said they have not launched the submarine and destroyer in response to the U.S. lead exercises.
"This exercise is a defensive exercise and we don't perceive any threats from it. We are not conducting exercises in response," Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,told local media.
The Iranians, however, have threatened recently to disrupt oil tanker traffic in the Straits of Hormuz, a narrow shipping pathway between Iran and the United Arab Emirates if the countries’ nuclear facilities are attacked by either the United States or Israel. Over 17 million barrels of oil a day flow through the Persian Gulf.
Vice Admiral John W. Miller went on to further comment on the exercises: “Represented here are the best of our individual countries' efforts dedicated to securing the global maritime commons,”
The IMCMEX-12 exercise being conducted by the U.S. and foreign navies is the largest Naval Exercise to ever be held in the region, and is slated to be the first of a reoccurring partnership event.
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