Iran’s Fars News reported on Wednesday that the US has been forced to keep its USS Abraham Lincoln carrier outside of the narrow confines of the Persian Gulf due to Iran’s missile threat. “The difficulty of facing military movements in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s deterrence is the reason the Lincoln Strike Group has stayed 450 miles from the area of tension outside the Strait of Hormuz,” the report said.
The US carrier is 200 miles off the coat of Oman, according to recent reports in US media. Iran’s media said that they had expected the carrier to journey to Bahrain but that it had not moved there yet. Fars News claims that the US wanted to avoid escalation and that the absence of the carrier showed there was less chance of war. “The Pentagon has moved the Lincoln aircraft carrier off the waters of the Persian Gulf as it is difficult to defend this carrier in the smaller marine environment such as the Gulf.” It claimed that a carrier could more easily confront threats such as submarines out in the ocean.
Iran’s missiles were a threat to naval vessels. “They are a real threat to the safety of US warships and the carrier.” The decision to keep the vessel at sea was due to Iran’s missile capabilities and the ability of Iran’s missiles to strike up to 350 miles away. “This is the first time in history a US carrier approaches the Persian Gulf but does not dock at its base in Bahrain,” Fars said.
In February Iran conducted a large naval drill in the Persian Gulf and near the Straits of Hormuz. This included the use of drones, missiles, anti-ship missiles, submarine launched cruise missiles and torpedos. The Iranian navy is not particularly large and the drill consisted of the submarine Fateh and a Sahand-class frigate. In comments the same month a former US official indicated Iran’s navy could be easily defeated if there was a conflict. Iran was accused of sabotaging four oil tankers earlier this month off the coast of the UAE in the Gulf of Oman.
Source » jpost