clearn.png
Thursday May 6th, 2021 12:07AM

Iran fires missile at mock aircraft carrier amid US tensions

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard fired a missile from a helicopter targeting a replica aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, state television reported on Tuesday, an exercise aimed at threatening the U.S. amid tensions between Tehran and Washington.

The drill, in a waterway through which 20% of all traded oil passes, underlines the lingering threat of military conflict between Iran and the U.S. after last summer saw a series of incidents targeting oil tankers in the region. In January, a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad and Tehran responded by firing ballistic missiles targeting American forces in Iraq.

While the coronavirus pandemic has engulfed both Iran and the U.S. for months, there have been increasing signs of a confrontation as America argues to extend a yearslong U.N. weapons embargo on Tehran that is due to expire in October. A recent incident over Syria involving an American jet fighter approaching an Iranian passenger plane also has renewed tensions.

Iranian commandos fast-roped down from a helicopter onto the replica in the footage aired Tuesday from the exercise called “Great Prophet 14." Other footage showed fast boats encircling the mock-up, kicking up white waves in their wake.

Iranian troops also fired anti-aircraft batteries at a drone target in the exercise from a location that state television described as being near the port city of Bandar Abbas. Troops also fired missiles launched from trucks on land and fast boats at sea, as well as shoulder-fired missiles.

The Guard will use “long-range ballistic missiles with the ability to hit far-reaching aggressor floating targets” during the drill, said Abbas Nilforoushan, the Guard's deputy commander for operations, according to Guard website sepahnews.com. That suggests the drill could see a repeat of what happened in 2015, when the Guard mock-sunk a replica.

It wasn't immediately clear if all the footage was from Tuesday, as one overhead surveillance image that appeared to be shot by a drone bore Monday's date. The exercise had been expected as satellite photos released Monday showed the fake carrier being moved into place by a tugboat.

A black-and-white satellite photo taken Tuesday by Colorado-based firm Maxar Technologies showed damage to the replica's bow and several of its fake jet fighters.

“Our policies to protect the vital interests of the dear nation of Iran are defensive, in the sense that we will not invade any country from the beginning, but we are completely aggressive in tactics and operations," Gen. Hossein Salami, the head of the Guard, was quoted as saying. “What was shown today at this exercise at the level of aerospace and naval forces was all offensive.”

State TV footage also showed Guard scuba forces underwater, followed by a cutaway to a blast hole just above the waterline on the replica carrier.

That appeared to be a not-so-subtle reminder of U.S. accusations last year that Iran planted limpet mines on passing oil tankers near the strait, which exploded on the vessels in the same area. Iran has repeatedly denied the actions, though footage captured by the American military showed Guard members remove an unexploded mine from one vessel.

The replica used in the drill resembles the Nimitz-class carriers that the U.S. Navy routinely sails into the Persian Gulf from the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the waterway. The USS Nimitz, the namesake of the class, just entered Mideast waters late last week from the Indian Ocean, likely to replace the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Arabian Sea.

It remains unclear when or if the Nimitz will pass through the Strait of Hormuz or not during its time in the Mideast. The USS Abraham Lincoln, deployed last year as tensions initially spiked, spent months in the Arabian Sea before heading through the strait. The Eisenhower came through the strait early last week.

To Iran, which shares the strait with Oman, the American naval presence is akin to Iranian forces sailing into the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Florida. But the U.S. Navy stresses the strait is an international waterway crucial to global shipping and energy supplies. Even as America now relies less on Mideast oil, a major disruption in the region could see prices rapidly rise.

Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet that patrols the Mideast, said officials were aware of the Iranian exercise involving “a vessel similar to a motionless aircraft carrier.”

“The U.S. Navy conducts defensive exercises with our partners promoting maritime security in support of freedom of navigation whereas Iran conducts offensive exercises, attempting to intimidate and coerce,” Rebarich told The Associated Press.

“While we are always watchful of this type of irresponsible and reckless behavior by Iran in the vicinity of busy international waterways, this exercise has not disrupted coalition operations in the area nor had any impacts to the free flow of commerce in the Strait of Hormuz and surrounding waters,” she added.

___

Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press journalist Mohammad Nasiri in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Iran fires missile at mock aircraft carrier amid US tensions
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard has fired a missile from a helicopter targeting a mock-up aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz
5:41AM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: Germany advises not to visit 3 Spanish regions
German authorities are advising against tourist trips to Catalonia and two other Spanish regions in light of rising coronavirus infections
5:38AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis lies in state at Capitol
Congressional leaders praised the late congressman John Lewis as a moral force for the nation in a Capitol Rotunda memorial service rich with symbolism and punctuated by the booming, recorded voice of the civil rights icon
5:35AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Can you get the coronavirus twice?
Can you get the coronavirus twice
3:35AM ( 2 hours ago )
Mayors want US agents blocked from Portland, other cities
The mayors of six U.S. cities are appealing to Congress to make it illegal for the U.S. government to deploy militarized agents to cities that don’t want them
3:21AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: South Africa nearing half-million virus cases
South Africa is closing in on a half-million confirmed coronavirus cases as the country posted nearly 300 deaths in a single day
3:08AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Cleanup from Hanna spurs fear amid COVID-19 surge in Texas
As recovery and cleanup efforts get underway in South Texas in the wake of a downgraded Hanna, worried residents are confronting the prospect of undertaking the effort amid a surge in coronavirus cases that has left many fearful about their health
10:15PM ( 7 hours ago )
Trade, technology and security at risk in US-China feud
They have the largest economies in the world
9:22PM ( 8 hours ago )
US won’t expel migrant children detained in Texas hotel
The Trump administration has agreed not to expel children it detained in a Texas hotel and will instead allow them to remain in the U.S. and pursue their immigration cases
8:58PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online National News
The Latest: Germany advises not to visit 3 Spanish regions
German authorities are advising against tourist trips to Catalonia and two other Spanish regions in light of rising coronavirus infections
5:38AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis lies in state at Capitol
Congressional leaders praised the late congressman John Lewis as a moral force for the nation in a Capitol Rotunda memorial service rich with symbolism and punctuated by the booming, recorded voice of the civil rights icon
5:35AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Stakes high as Depp's libel case against UK tabloid closes
Johnny Depp’s libel case against a British tabloid that accused him of abusing ex-wife Amber Heard is wrapping up after three weeks of court hearings that dissected a toxic celebrity love affair
5:27AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Peugeot maker PSA makes profit despite pandemic sales slide
The maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars says it made a profit in the first six months of the year even as the coronavirus pandemic caused a deep drop in sales
5:14AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Vietnam locks down its 3rd-largest city as virus cases grow
Vietnam has locked down its third-largest city for two weeks after 15 cases of COVID-19 were found in a hospital
5:08AM ( 47 minutes ago )