X marks the spot: Spy ring and warships encircle Iran

The X-band radars that the United States has installed in Israel’s Negev desert (AFP Photo/David Buimovitch)

The Pentagon is quickly tightening its ring of forces around Iran. As a recent report reveals a radar belt around the Persian country is almost complete, the biggest ever naval drills, involving up to 20 nations, are to take place in the Gulf waters.

The US military have asked for $12.2 million from Congress to build an AN/TPY-2 type radar station in Qatar. The construction is due be finished by the end of this month, The Wall Street Journal reports, quoting US officials.

Similar radars, commonly known as X-band, are also located in Turkey and Israel’s desert of Negev. The detector in Qatar would complete the backbone of a system designed to protect Israel and Europe from Iranian ballistic missiles, say the WSJ sources. The shield would pinpoint missile launches from the north, west and south of the Persian country.

There are also ambitions to deploy a THAAD (the army’s first Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile-interceptor system to the region in the coming months. This independent detector may be hosted by the United Arab Emirates and, as the project sponsors say, together with X-Band will provide “an extra layer of defense.” Continue reading

Commander: All Vessels Need Iran’s Permission to Pass through Strait of Hormuz

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said that all vessels, including the US warships, enter the Persian Gulf waters through the Strait of Hormuz only after they are checked by the IRGC naval forces.

“The alien vessels which enter the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz always provide the needed answers and information to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) units,” Lieutenant Commander of the IRGC Naval Force Alireza Tangsiri said on Wednesday.

He further noted the deployment of a US aircraft carrier in the region, and said, “This vessel, similar to the other warships, answered all the questions asked by the IRGC Navy without any problem or making any particular move and then continued the path to its specified destination.”

In relevant remarks today, Commander of the Iranian Army Major General Ataollah Salehi downplayed deployment of two aircraft carriers by the US in waters near the Persian Gulf, and warned the US naval forces not to approach the red zones announced by the Iranian armed forces.

“We have warned them (foreign naval forces) before that some areas in the Persian Gulf are considered by us as zones of threat and they should not stop in those areas,” Salehi told FNA on Wednesday.

“Of course, they have paid attention to the warning and are respecting it,” Salehi underscored.

The remarks by the Iranian army commander came as the US announced the deployment of the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise along with the Abraham Lincoln carrier in waters near the Persian Gulf.

The US says that the deployment is “routine” and the two carriers will support the American military operations in Afghanistan and anti-piracy efforts off Somalia’s coast and in the Gulf of Aden.

Source: Fars News

Breaking: Iran Claims It Has A Blockade On The Strait Of Hormuz

An Iranian Peykaap class speedboat armed with missile launchers

We reported a couple weeks ago that Iran was demanding all U.S. ships entering the Strait of Hormuz stop and check in with the Revolutionary Guard, and now it seems they’re taking the move one step farther.

FARS News Agency, Tehran’s state run media outlet, announced  Tehran is implementing a full blockade on all ships entering the Strait and each must undergo inspection.

From FARS:

“The alien vessels which enter the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz always provide the needed answers and information to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) units,” Lieutenant Commander of the IRGC Naval Force Alireza Tangsiri said on Wednesday. 

He further noted the deployment of a US aircraft carrier in the region, and said, “This vessel, similar to the other warships, answered all the questions asked by the IRGC Navy without any problem or making any particular move and then continued the path to its specified destination.” 

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/iran-announces-its-blockading-on-the-strait-of-hormuz-2012-4#ixzz1srtD5kNS

Iranian navy shadows USS Abraham Lincoln through Hormuz Strait

USS Abraham Lincoln (AFP Photo / US Navy)

Iranian patrol boats and planes have trailed the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday.

Iran’s navy never approached the battle group closer than half a mile, making a point to stay in the Iranian waters. Radar operators also revealed an Iranian drone and surveillance helicopter zooming in the Persian country’s airspace near the strategic strait. A patrol plane buzzed over the Lincoln, said Rear Adm. Troy Shoemaker, commander of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Force.

We would do the same things off the coast of the United States… It’s more than reasonable. We’re operating in their backyard,” he said.

Flanked by several choppers and enforced by the cruiser USS Cape St. George and destroyer USS Sterett, the American battle group passed the narrow strait without incident, reports the Associated Press. Continue reading

Iran Threatens To Torpedo US Aircraft Carriers

Three US warships stationed in waters near Strait of Hormuz

Paul Joseph Watson
Source: Prison Planet.com
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A senior Iranian military commander has warned that Iran has the capability to sink US aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf using detection-evading submarines that can fire torpedoes.

Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Army’s Self-Sufficiency Jihad Rear Admiral Farhad Amiri, “Stated that Iran’s submarines are able to ambush and hit enemy vessels specially US Aircraft carriers from the seabed throughout the Persian Gulf,” reports the Fars News Agency.

Amiri said that while the United States was focused on Iran’s surface capabilities, the greater threat was posed by its fleet of submarines which, “Are noiseless and can easily evade detection as they are equipped with the sonar-evading technology and can fire missiles and torpedoes simultaneously.”

Amiri added that the submarines could “easily target and hit an aircraft carrier traversing in the nearby regions.” Continue reading

Pentagon fumes: Iran patrols Hormuz

The US Defense Department, the Pentagon, has released video footage showing Iranian motorboats approaching US vessels passing through the strategic Strait of Hormuz last week.

According to the Pentagon officials, the incident took place twice last week, though the interactions were not seen as hostile.

The video released by the Pentagon shows armed boats belonging to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps navy approaching within several hundred yards (meters) of the USS New Orleans, an amphibious transport ship, on January 6, 2012.

According to US military sources, a similar incident occurred with the US Coast Guard cutter Adak the same day, with the Iranian boats seen riding in its wake with guns visible.

“This interaction between US naval vessels and the Iranian vessels is commonplace,” said Captain Jane Campbell, a Pentagon spokeswoman. “There is nothing in these that shows any kind of hostile intent,” she added.

US officials say it is routine to take video of such incidents and the US military decided to release imagery at the request of news organizations.

After the US and the European Union proposed sanctions against Iran’s oil sector, which aim to deprive the country of its oil exports, high-ranking civil and military officials in Tehran threatened the West with the possible closure of the Strait of Hormuz. They say if Iran cannot export its oil, no other country will be able to do so either.

Iran’s Navy also staged 10-day massive navy drills dubbed Velayat 90 last month in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz as a clear warning to the West to avoid of any measure which may threaten the safety of the Iranian waterway.

Commander of Iran’s Army Major General Ataollah Salehi warned the US John C. Stennis, which left the Persian Gulf on December 30, 2011, en route to the Sea of Oman, not to return to the Persian Gulf, adding that the warning comes “only once.”

Source: PressTV

Three US Warships To Patrol Waters Near Strait of Hormuz

Pentagon denies movement of aircraft carriers is linked to Iran tensions

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
Thursday, January 12, 2012

A total of three US warships will patrol the waters surrounding the Strait of Hormuz following confirmation that a third aircraft carrier strike group is being sent to the Arabian Sea as tensions with Iran rise.

“Another carrier strike group, led by the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, concluded a port visit to Thailand on Tuesday and was now in the Indian Ocean. It is on track to join the Vinson in the Central Command area of operations, which begins in the neighboring Arabian Sea,” reports Reuters.

The USS Lincoln and the USS Vinson will join the USS John C. Stennis strike group which is already in the region. Pentagon officials state the Stennis is scheduled to return to its home port in San Diego but refused to clarify exactly when this would occur.

The Pentagon’s denial that the movement of the warships has anything to do with Iran’s recent threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, an act that would prompt global economic chaos and provide a pretext for war, holds little credence. Continue reading

Royal Navy sends its mightiest ship to take on the Iranian show of force in the Gulf

The Royal Navy’s most formidable warship is being sent to the Gulf for its first mission as tensions rise in the strategically vital region, it can be disclosed.

The £1 billion destroyer carries the world's most sophisticated naval radar, capable of tracking multiple incoming threats from missiles to fighter jets

Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, which served as the conduit for 17 millions barrels of oil every day last year.

Naval commanders believe the deployment of HMS Daring, a Type 45 destroyer, will send a significant message to the Iranians because of the firepower and world-beating technology carried by the warship.

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, has publicly warned Iran that any blockade of the Strait of Hormuz would be “illegal and unsuccessful”.

The Daily Telegraph understands that HMS Daring has been fitted with new technology that will give it the ability to shoot down any missile in Iran’s armoury. The £1 billion destroyer, which will leave Portsmouth next Wednesday, also carries the world’s most sophisticated naval radar, capable of tracking multiple incoming threats from missiles to fighter jets. Continue reading

‘US intervention in Iran will drag China & Russia into war’