An Iranian warship crosses through the Suez Canal. (AP) (AP)
Iranian warship


Iran claims the mission of the fleet is to protect Iranian trade and oil vessels from piracy, but this contradicts what US military officials believe is the Iranian Navy’s belligerent muscle-flexing.

By: Ruthie Blum/The Algemeiner

Following the announcement by the commander of the Iranian Navy that two Islamic Republic warships had entered the Atlantic Ocean, a video was released to verify it, the regime-aligned news outlet Tasnim reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that the 44th flotilla — comprised of the Bushehr logistical warship and the Alvand destroyer — “has sailed around the African continent and arrived” at its destination, docking at the Port of Durban in South Africa, after stopping in Tanzania.

At the end of the video, Tasnim reported, Iranian Navy Lieutenant Admiral Omid Golestaneh described the mission of the fleet, asserting that it was in international waters to protect Iranian trade and oil vessels from piracy.

This claim, however, contradicts what US military officials told Fox News in August about the Iranian Navy’s belligerent muscle-flexing against its American counterpart, some of which was filmed.

According to the Fox News report, despite the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the nuclear deal reached between Tehran and six world powers last year in July – and the recent $1.7 billion US payment to the Islamic Republic, dangerous confrontations between American and Iranian warships in the Persian Gulf have increased by more than 50 percent in 2016 from the previous year.

These flare-ups, a defense official told Fox News, have been instigated by Iran and revealed what the media outlet called a “troubling pattern.”

In addition, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei lauded his country’s navy for capturing 10 US sailors who had drifted accidentally into Iranian waters. Though the sailors were released the following day, they were forced to their knees and photographed in humiliating positions. It was an incident glorified in Iran to such an extent that during celebrations of the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, a reenactment of the scene was conducted with great fanfare in the streets of Tehran.

The seizing of the American sailors came a month after Iranian missile boats fired unguided rockets near a US Navy aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz.

Watch the video of the Iranian Navy warships in the Atlantic Ocean below.

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