Dubai, June 09 | The faux foe, seen in satellite photographs obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, resembles the Nimitz-class carriers that the US Navy routinely sails into the Persian Gulf from the Strait of Hormuz, its narrow mouth where 20 per cent of all the world’s oil passes through.
As tensions remain high between Iran and the US, the Islamic Republic appears to have constructed a new mock-up of an aircraft carrier off its southern coast for potential live-fire drills.
It also comes as Iran announced Tuesday it will execute a man is accused of sharing details on the movements of the Guard’s Gen Qassem Soleimani, whom the US killed in a January drone strike in Baghdad.
The fake carrier sits just a short distance away from the parking lot in which the Guard unveiled over 100 new speedboats in May, the kind it routinely employs intense encounters between Iranian sailors and the US Navy. Those boats carry both mounted machine guns and missiles.
The mock-up strongly resembles a similar one used in February 2015 during a military exercise called Great Prophet 9. During that drill, Iran swarmed the fake aircraft carrier with speedboats firing machine guns and rockets. Surface-to-sea missiles later targeted and destroyed the fake carrier.
Iran later responded by slowly abandoning nearly every tenant of the agreement, though it still allows UN inspectors access to its nuclear sites.