He’s basing this on Iran’s ability to sink replicas of US aircraft carriers that they built. It’s a step up from sinking bath toys. But let’s not ruin his fun.
The upshot is that Iran is aggressively rattling sabers while Obama insists on chanting “Peace in our time.” There’s a message here. Iran is confident and it knows that it just needs to keep the US at bay for a little more while it goes nuclear.
The naval commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, said Monday that the destruction of the US Navy is a major operational goal of his forces, an Iranian news agency reported. In an unusually aggressive interview, he was said to have declared that Iran’s navy had been conducting drills on how to sink US vessels in any potential combat, that Iran “naturally” wants to sink these vessels, and that it could sink a US aircraft carrier in less than a minute.
“Conducting trainings, exercises and drills to get prepared for operational goals is always on our agenda and Americans and all the world know that one of the operational goals of the IRGC Navy is destruction of the US naval force,” Fadavi said in what the semi-official Fars News Agency called an exclusive interview.
US warships are a very easy target for the IRGC naval force, given that “we have very precise analyses of the design, construction and structures of these warships and we know how to act.”
Fadavi said his forces had been conducting routine drills on how to sink US vessels, notably in the Persian Gulf.
He confirmed that Iran had produced “replicas of the US aircraft carriers” for IRGC Navy drills, and said American reports on these replicas had dealt with the issue “very simple-mindedly.”
Said Fadavi: “They (Americans) know nothing. We have been making and sinking replicas of US destroyers, frigates and warships for long years, and we have sunk the replica of their vessels in 50 seconds through a series of operational measures,” added Fadavi.
“We practice the same drills on replica aircraft carriers because sinking and destroying US warships has, is and will be on our agenda,” he stressed.
Stunningly impressive. Here’s how Iranian naval vessels performed against the real thing.
The United States Navy clashed with Iranian forces across the southern half of the Persian Gulf today, crippling or sinking six armed Iranian vessels. One American attack helicopter was reported missing.
Military officials said they were startled at the vigorous opposition that the Navy met from Iranian forces, which repeatedly moved ships and aircraft against American forces despite being heavily outgunned.
In today’s clashes, United States ships sank an Iranian missile patrol boat that approached and fired on them. Later, jets from the aircraft carrier Enterprise sank or badly damaged three large armed speedboats that were shelling oil facilities or merchant ships. And in two other incidents, the Navy’s ships and planes severely damaged two Iranian frigates that fired on American ships and aircraft.
Their commanders may be buffoons, but it would be dangerous to take Iranian forces too lightly. They’re not as fanatical as they used to be, but they’re still capable of being dangerous if they have the right equipment.
The threat is enhanced by the fact that Iran essentially has two navies. The standard surface fleet doesn’t pose much of a threat to U.S. military ships, and would very likely be destroyed in the early days of any conflict: “Its capabilities are not that sophisticated,” Connell says. But Iran also has naval forces operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which has been expanding its role in recent years and investing in technologies like the speedboats that could be used for suicide attacks.
In addition, Iran has been bulking up on anti-ship missiles. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the IRGC operates patrol boats with C-802 guided anti-ship missiles. It also has H-2 Seersucker land-based anti-ship missiles. Those missiles may not be better than what the United States has, but it may not matter—the Iranians have geography on their side. The Strait of Hormuz is shallow and narrow, which renders some measures of traditional military power moot.
That’s ultimately what makes the potential for a conflict in the Strait of Hormuz so unsettling: The U.S. military’s ability to undermine an Iranian blockade rests on its ability to deploy overwhelming force, but that same force makes it vulnerable to Iran’s asymmetric attacks.
And the Russians will no doubt use Iran to test out their newest systems, as they did in Iraq.