Following the announcement that a third US aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, would be heading to patrol waters near the Strait of Hormuz in March, it has also been revealed that the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis and the destroyer USS Momsen are also likely to heading towards the Persian Gulf in the build up to a possible attack on Iran.
“Two ships of the US Navy, the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis and the destroyer USS Momsen have passed through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea. Although their destination is confidential, they are now getting dangerously close to the Persian Gulf,” reports RT, citing Interfax News Agency.
With the likely destination of the two ships being the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations, they will be joined next month by the USS Enterprise, the third aircraft carrier to be stationed in the region along with the USS Vinson and the USS Abraham Lincoln.
The US also has a 15,000-men force deployed in Kuwait comprising of an expeditionary marine battalion and an amphibious landing group. British and French warships are also acting as escorts to the US aircraft carriers.
What all this means is that the United States will have a massive naval presence just off Iranian waters to coincide with rhetoric concerning an attack reaching a crescendo.
Earlier a prominent bipartisan think tank, ostensibly a front for the US military-industrial complex, called on the Obama administration to increase pressure on Iran by sending even more naval firepower to the tense region.
The US is currently conducting its biggest naval exercises in over a decade.
The Bold Alligator joint Navy and Marine Corps exercise, taking place off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina, is clearly geared towards simulating a naval conflict with Iranian forces despite official claims to the contrary.
“Navy and Marine forces involved with the exercise will work scenarios involving mine warfare, countering small boat attacks and other irregular threats and fighting in shallow coastal waters, (Command chief Adm. John) Harvey pointed out. Those threats, among others, are the hallmarks of Iranian naval forces,” reports AOL News.
Iran’s repeated threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil choke point, have led many to speculate that the trigger for a military assault aimed at destroying Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities could happen in the waters of the Persian Gulf.
Tehran is set to conduct more naval exercises in the Strait later this month. Experts estimate that around 1,000 mines would be required to block the 55km wide passage and that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have already stockpiled 2,000 mines for that very purpose.