Iran has reportedly moved a mock aircraft carrier to the strategic Strait of Hormuz considered a choke point in the crude shipment community.
The satellite images released Monday amid heightened tensions between Tehran and the U.S., “likely signals the Islamic Republic soon plans to use it for live-fire drills,” says a report by AP.
Iranian state media and officials have yet to acknowledge bringing the replica out to the choke point. However, its appearance there suggests Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard is preparing an encore of a similar mock-sinking it conducted in 2015, the report adds.
Some 20% of the world’s oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz. A geopolitical sabre rattling there or in the region could see oil prices spiking, energy analyst Rashid Hussain Syed told DesPardes earlier. His latest take: “Oil is not out of the wood yet and this is carrying serious ramifications for major oil producers”.
And for the oil refineries also, says a Pakistani petroleum market observer.
“Fears of a second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in countries around the world continue to impact global markets”, Syed adds.
“We cannot speak to what Iran hopes to gain by building this mockup, or what tactical value they would hope to gain by using such a mock-up in a training or exercise scenario,” spokeswoman Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich of the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet told The Associated Press. “We do not seek conflict, but remain ready to defend U.S. forces and interests from maritime threats in the region.”
The 5th Fleet patrols Mideast waterways. It remains “confident in our naval forces’ ability to defend themselves against any maritime threat,” said Rebarich when asked about the faux carrier’s movements.
According to AP, the replica resembles the Nimitz-class carriers that the U.S. Navy routinely sails into the Persian Gulf from the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the waterway. The USS Nimitz, the namesake of the class, just entered Mideast waters late last week from the Indian Ocean, “likely to replace” the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Arabian Sea. More…