Iran Reports Naval Buildup In Gulf

Iran Reports Naval Buildup In Gulf

By David Bedein, Middle East Correspondent

http://thebulletin.us/articles/2010/01/23/news/world/doc4b5b5223692fb845684478.prt

Published:

Saturday, January 23, 2010
Jerusalem — The Middle East Newsline reports that Iran claims that Western forces have deployed scores of warships in the Gulf and Arabian Sea, saying that nearly 100 warships have been conducting operations, many of which Iran says are directed against Iran.

“The Westerners know well that the existence of these warships in the Persian Gulf serve as the best operational targets for Iran if they should want to undertake any military action against Iran,” Iranian Defense Minister Ahmed Vahidi said.

Mr. Vahidi, in an address on Jan. 19, said more than 90 foreign warships were detected in the Gulf region. He said they included Western aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates and submarines in what has created a “military environment.”

“What is the reason underlying the deployment of this many warships and what aim are they pursuing?” Mr. Vahidi asked. “Are they arrayed against Iran?”

 Over the last year, Iran has reported accelerated development of its navy. In 2009, Iran transferred responsibility for the Gulf region to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which has developed a swarm strategy to counter U.S. warships.

“The Americans have made conflicting comments [on a military option against Iran],” Mr. Vahidi said.

David Bedein can be reached at bedein@thebulletin.us

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