Iranian officials announced recently that the country was sending ships in the direction of US maritime waters. The move is said to be in response to the United State's own increased presence in the Persian Gulf.
The semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Adm. Afshin Rezayee Haddad on Saturday as saying that, "Iran's military fleet is approaching the United States' maritime borders, and this move has a message".
It has not yet been confirmed, but Rezayee claims these ships are headed into the Atlantic Ocean, "via the waters near South Africa".
A US official told CNN that this is not the first time Iran has made such threats. It was noted that in 2011, Iran had stated they had plans for sending ships into American-controlled waters. The statement was released to local press during the thirtieth anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war.
Back then, Iran had claimed there were "plans for the presence of this force in the Atlantic Ocean...same way that the world arrogant power is present near our marine borders" were underway.
Said the anonymous official, "t's important to understand that, at this point, we have an announcement not a deployment."
“These Are the Entirely Crappy Warships Iran Says It’s Sending to the U.S. Coast” https://t.co/9F78V5fcyT
— War is Boring (@warisboring) February 9, 2014
In other words the threats have been made once again, however there doesn't seem to be any material proof to cause any sort of true concern. An "aspiration" to possess a strong naval presence is not the same as actually having one.
It seems that for now Iran's boast is being treated as posturing and little more. Is Iran "crying wolf" or are there really warships headed our way?
The anonymous defense official that spoke with CNN, seems to think Iran doesn't quite understand how maritime operations work.
He says, "Freedom of the seas doesn't just apply to fish. It applies to all maritime nations, all navies, everywhere...if they chose to send their ships to the Atlantic, I'm sure they won't be surprised to find many, many others already there."
Iran's navy is relatively small when compared with the rest of its military, and with the majority of its forces being a world away, it's not likely help would immediately arrive should Iran engage in any truly aggressive activities in the Atlantic.
Image via US Military Videos and Photos