Iran ramps up sea power while negotiating nukes with West

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While the U.S. haggles with Iran over nuclear weapons, the Islamic Republic is aggressively building up a navy — a move that has regional neighbors concerned.

The focus on Tehran’s nuclear weapons capabilities could be a mistake, if it comes at the exclusion of addressing the seafaring capabilities of the rogue regime, not to mention the active proxy fighting Iran is engaging in throughout the Middle East, a former U.S. Army officer with intimate knowledge of the Iranian military told And it isn’t just analysts warning that Iran has plans to project power and influence around the Persian Gulf — the nation’s top military officials are rattling their sabers on a near-daily basis.

“The Americans and our enemies cannot stand up against the Islamic system’s deterrence power no matter how hard they try,” Navy Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, told Iranian state-run media.

International sanctions have long stunted Iran’s ability to buy weapons, but the nation has nonetheless managed to acquire and even build one of the world’s largest naval fleets, according to the website Earlier this month, Iran touted its “homemade destroyer,” naval presence in international waters and “anti-surface and anti-subsurface weapons.” In February, Iran staged USS Cole-style missile and rocket attacks on a mock-up of a U.S. aircraft carrier.

Iranian mockattck on US aircraft carrier

“There’s no question [Iran] can do some damage,” Pollack told But “that crazy exercise” does not prove Iran “is a serious threat to the United States.” “The mock carrier didn’t fire back,” said Michael Connell, a senior researcher with the Iranian Studies Program at Arlington, Va.-based CNA Corporation.

They are reasonably capable by regional standards.” – Michael Connell, Iranian military analyst

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