December 30, 2011
An Iranian surveillance plane has recorded video and photographed a US aircraft carrier during Iran’s ongoing navy drill near a strategic waterway in the Persian Gulf.
The report on the official IRNA news agency yesterday did not provide details and it was unclear what information the Iranian military could glean from such footage. But the announcement is an indication that Iran is seeking to cast its navy as having a powerful role in the region’s waters.
IRNA quoted Iran’s navy chief, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, as saying the action shows that Iran has “control over the moves by foreign forces” in the area where Tehran is holding a 10-day military exercise. He added that the “foreign fleet will be warned by Iranian forces if it enters the area of the drill”. The Iranians are exercising in international waters near the Strait of Hormuz, passageway for one-sixth of the world’s oil. Beyond it lie vast bodies of water, including the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The US Bahrain-based 5th Fleet is also active in the area.