Washington: Tensions escalated between Tehran and Washington after US Navy has launched a submarine capable of carrying a large payload of missiles into the Middle East in an apparent warning directed toward Iran, Fox News reported.
Bab el Mandeb strait at the southern end of the Red Sea serves as the main conduit between the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, and the Suez Canal. The nuclear-powered submarine is deployed to the US 5th Fleet, which has a patrol that includes the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
“It is capable of carrying up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles and is deployed to US 5th Fleet to help ensure regional maritime security and stability,” said Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins.
US-Iranian relations have further soured in recent years following former President Donald Trump’s successful order to kill Iran’s top military commander, Qasem Soleimani, as well as his decision to end a deal that curbed sanctions on Iran in exchange for a reduction in nuclear weapons development, Fox News reported.
The heightened aggression from Iran extends also to US allies, namely the United Kingdom and Israel, who along with the US have reported unusual amounts of aggression and even attacks from Iranian forces.
Though, Iran has denied the reports. In February, Iran renewed threats to target Trump and top members of his former Cabinet, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for the 2020 killing of Soleimani, Fox News reported.
“God willing, we are looking to kill Trump [and] Pompeo ... and military commanders who issued the order should be killed,” Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps aerospace force, told Iranian state television.
Last month, American naval forces teamed up with UK counterparts to seize “anti-tank guided missiles” and missile components from a boat that originated from Iran, Fox News reported.
The joint operation, in which the US provided “airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support for an interdiction in the Gulf of Oman conducted by the United Kingdom Royal Navy”, occurred on February 23.