A top US commander says that the Iranian military has beefed up its naval forces in the Persian Gulf by increasing submarines and preparing suicide boats.
“They have increased the number of submarines… they increased the number of fast attack craft,” the head of the US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, Vice Admiral Mark Fox, said in Manama on Sunday.
“Some of the small boats have been outfitted with a large warhead that could be used as a suicide explosive device. The Iranians have a large mine inventory,” he told reporters.
Tehran said that it would shut down the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic and vital shipping route, after the US and its European allies imposed new unilateral sanctions against the country’s oil and financial sectors.
Meanwhile, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Monday that Iran has chosen intelligent control of the Strait of Hormuz as its main strategy to counter foreign threats and sanctions.
Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said “intelligent control of the Strait of Hormuz in response to oil sanctions against Iran” is the country’s main strategy for dealing with foreign threats.
Admiral Fox said Washington is carefully patrolling the Persian Gulf, putting the number of Iranian submarines in the region at 10.
“We have watched with interest their development of long range rockets and short, medium and long range ballistic missiles and of course… the development of their nuclear program,” Fox said.
Iran has yet to comment on the American claims.
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