Iran says could deploy navy near U.S. coast: report

TEHRAN Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:55am EDT

The Iranian Kharg warship at a dock in the Syrian coastal city Latakia, February 25, 2011. REUTERS/Davoud Poorsehat/IRNA

The Iranian Kharg warship at a dock in the Syrian coastal city Latakia, February 25, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Davoud Poorsehat/IRNA

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TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran raised the prospect on Tuesday of sending military ships close to the United States' Atlantic coast, in what would be a major escalation of tensions between the long-standing adversaries.

"Like the arrogant powers that are present near our marine borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to American marine borders," the head of the Navy, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 31st anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, Sayyari gave no details of when such a deployment could happen or the number or type of vessels to be used.

The declaration comes just weeks after Turkey said it would host a NATO early warning radar system which will help spot missile threats from outside Europe, including potentially from Iran. The decision has angered Tehran which had enjoyed close relations with Ankara.

And it comes a few months after Iran sent warships through the Suez canal, after the fall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the first time the Islamic Republic had deployed navy vessels in the Mediterranean.

The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to stop it getting nuclear weapons. Tehran denies it is developing nuclear arms saying its atomic program is for purely peaceful purposes.

Iran has dismissed the threats, warning that it will respond by hitting U.S. interests in the Gulf and Israel if any such attack happened.

Analysts say Tehran could retaliate by launching hit-and-run strikes in the Gulf and by closing the Strait of Hormuz, the waterway where about 40 percent of all traded oil passes.

The Islamic state often launches military drills in the country to display its military capabilities amid persistent speculation about a possible U.S. or Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

(Writing by Hashem Kalantari; Editing by Rosalind Russell)

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Comments (4)
Slammy wrote:
Target Practice.

Sep 27, 2011 1:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RolloverRider wrote:
Does Iran actually think the US is worried about their so called Navy?

All Iran will do is help the USA’s own Navy use them as targets. Free Naval training as it’s called. It costs the USA nothing for some silly wanna be country to sail into their area and get used as targets. It will cost the US nothing in fuel, materials or manpower. Iran would be doing them a favor. Really they would be and at the same time reducing their “presence” in their area. Real smart on the intellectual level not to mention the military one, unless Adickinjohn “wants it to happen” and we all know that fool has no military background or intelligence as it is! But when or if Iran decides to jump those ships will become reefs for American fishermen to fish over!

Why is it this so called nation that’s what?, 20-30 times the size of Israel along with the rest of the Islamic world is so scared of them? They outnumber them by some silly number and yet the whole Muslim world hates them so and call them Islamaphobic? Well I would be too if from the days of that Prophet that wrote in that Qur’an of his to kill them and every other nonbeliever as they are about to do to a Muslim that dropped his “faith” and is about to become executed by this Mo Ron Religious Run country just because he feels that Christianity is better then Islam? Why hasn’t Islam put out a faqua(?) on Obama for doing the same thing? If born to a Muslim male and learning the teachings, why haven’t they shot him down yet for rejecting Islam and becoming what he calls a Christian?

Anyway, Iran? Why waste the time and money to help America? I thought you hated them so much that you’d actually go there and let them learn how Mo Rons drive a ship in a real ocean? A World power you will never be so why fake it? Let’s not forget that the heart of Islam does NOT reside in Iran!

Iran is becoming the biggest laughing stock of the world. Thank God the those brain dead hikers will be fading off into the sunset except for any stupid movies or books they write! Why didn’t you just kick the Id Iots (I use that term loosely)out after a week in a nice 3rd world country instead of throwing the “spying” charges on them? That was what turned you into a Comedy Central Skit!

Sep 27, 2011 3:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Ranwulf wrote:
This would be an interesting situation. The U.S. Navy would need do nothing. We have more heavily armed civilians and more privately owned boats than you can shake a stick at, and we’d very likely whip the Iranian navy without official military assistance. Seriously. It might even be fun. Bring it on, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari.

Sep 27, 2011 5:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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