Iran simulates terrifying war with US navy vessel in Strait of Hormuz – new images
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Iran has moved a replica US aircraft carrier to the strategic Strait of Hormuz in an apparent target practice drill, pictures taken by space firm Maxar Technologies suggest. Worrying satellite images depict a virtual US Naval vessel being dragged out to the vital Gulf shipping channel from the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas. A hurtling speedboat is then depicted heading on a collision-course with the vessel before crashing waves against its side.
Another image shows 16 mock-up fighter jets on board the carrier which stretches 200 metres long.
The military exercise has become an important an important drill for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and its naval forces.
A similar mission was conducted in 2015 when Iranian missiles hit a virtual ship resembling a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.
Tehran opposes Western presence in the vital waterways which transits around 30 percent of the global oil trade.
Commander Rebecca Rebarich, from the US Navy’s Middle East patrol team, issued a warning to Iran and insisted the fleet is “confident in our naval forces’ ability to defend themselves against any maritime threat”.
She added: “We cannot speak to what Iran hopes to gain by building this mock-up, or what tactical value they would hope to gain by using such a mock-up in a training or exercise scenario.
“We do not seek conflict, but remain ready to defend US forces and interests from maritime threats in the region.”
In February 2015, the Iranian guards conducted a simulated drill called Great Prophet 9 and destroyed a US carrier.
In the exercise several speedboats fired machine guns and rockets before a surface-to-sea missile sunk the ship.
The alarming drill comes just days after the USS Nimit entered Middle Eastern waters from the Indian Ocean.
The vessel is set to replace the USS Dwight D Eisenhower in the Arabian Sea.
It remains unclear if the Nimitz will pass through the Strait of Hormuz during its time in the region.
Tensions between Iran and the US have soared since 2018, when US President Donald Trump controversially withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal.
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The landmark international treaty had stopped Tehran developing nuclear weapons in return for sanction relief – however Mr Trump has since put restrictions back in place and crippled the Iranian economy.
Iranian officials have repeatedly threatened to block the Strait if it is prevented from transporting oil.
Iran cannot legally close the waterway, however the ships sailing through the region come under the responsibility of Iran’s naval force.
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