– Reuters – The Pentagon said on Tuesday that two Iranian warships have “linked up” with a cargo ship that Iran has said is carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen, as activists on board the vessel said it was due to arrive at the Yemeni port of Hodaida on Thursday.
– Reuters – Iranian naval vessels fired shots at a Singapore-flagged tanker in the Gulf on Thursday, in what appeared to be Iran’s latest attempt to settle a legal dispute by force with passing commercial vessels.
– USNI News – Iran’s recent seizure and release of the Marshall Islands flagged M/V Maersk Tigris could be what Iran claims it is, a reaction to a decade-long dispute over shipping containers that were diverted to the UAE and never delivered to Iran. More likely however, it is a thinly veiled attempt at brinkmanship to remind the United States of the kind of trouble that Iran can stir up in the Strait of Hormuz. – See more at: http://news.usni.org/2015/05/11/analysis-irans-latest-round-of-maritime-brinksmanship#sthash.Ladh4PjJ.dpuf
– Reuters – Iranian warships will accompany a cargo ship bound for the Yemeni port of Hodaida, which is held by Iran-allied Houthi fighters. The Iran-flagged Iran Shahed cargo ship set sail on Monday and could be intercepted by Saudi-led coalition forces.
– Reuters – Iranian patrol boats intercepted a cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday and forced it into Iranian territorial waters by firing shots across its bow, prompting the U.S. Navy to send a destroyer and reconnaissance plane to monitor the situation.
– Wall Street Journal – Iran dispatched a naval flotilla to the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, a move that could raise tensions between the Islamic Republic and a Saudi-led coalition conducting a military campaign in Yemen, which borders the waterway.
– War is Boring – Iran has carried out a massive attack on a mock version of an American Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Tehran wanted everyone to know about it—state TV broadcasted the military exercise live. It’s a revealing look at Iranian naval assault tactics, involving several waves of ships backed by helicopters and shore-launched missiles. The timing isn’t a coincidence. The United States and Iran are deadlocked over a deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.
– USNI News – Last week’s meeting between the heads of the Iranian Navy and the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in Beijing are the latest in a bilateral campaign to increase military to military cooperation and a recognition of growing Chinese interests in the Middle East.
– The Aviationist – The IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), the branch of Iran’s military whose role is to protect Tehran’s Islamic system, have published on Twitter an interesting drawing showing how they imagine an attack to an enemy warship entering the Persian Gulf.
– USNI News – A mock-up of an American aircraft carrier will be used as a target by Iranian naval forces in an upcoming exercise.
– AP – Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency is reporting that the country has temporarily called off a plan to dispatch warships to the Atlantic Ocean.
– Defense News – Despite limited capabilities and lacking in modernization, Iran has always been seen as the major naval threat in the Arabian Gulf region.
– USA Today – The senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee says Iran’s construction of a mock-up U.S. aircraft carrier demonstrates Iran’s continued lack of good faith. “We don’t really know what it means, but I for sure don’t trust the Iranians,” Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said Saturday. “It’s some kind of a ruse and whatever they are up to, it’s no good.”
– Iranian Navy – Iranian warships ‘to sail close to US maritime border’ – Iranian warships in the Atlantic Ocean are to sail close to US maritime borders for the first time, a senior naval commander has said.
– USNI News – Iran has launched a new class of indigenous submarine. The construction of the 500-ton submarine demonstrates an improvement in Iran’s ability to produce military hardware despite the ongoing sanctions on the country.
– AP – Iran’s official news agency says the country has redeployed two warships after refitting them with new anti-ship missiles.
– Defense News – Iranian midget submarines are an imminent threat to maritime security in the Arabian Gulf, and regional naval leaders are looking for immediate options “within reach” to counter the threat.
– The Diplomat – Iran is steadily increasing its ability to indigenously produce different kinds of submarines, some of which would likely play an important role in any Iranian effort to close down the Strait of Hormuz. In an interview with the semi-official Fars News Agency this week, Admiral Khordad Hakimi, commander of the Iranian Army’s 4th Naval Zone in the Caspian Sea, said that Iran is mass producing light submarines and has begun constructing medium submarines.
– Daily Telegraph – Iran has dispatched one of its newest warships to shadow the world’s biggest mine-hunting exercise that has been taking place over the last few days in the Gulf.
– US Institute for Peace – What is the record of interaction between the U.S. and Iranian navies in the Persian Gulf?
– BBC – An Iranian naval task force has docked in Sudan, carrying with it a “message of peace and security to neighbouring countries.”
– Washington Post – Iran is rapidly gaining new capabilities to strike at U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, amassing an arsenal of sophisticated anti-ship missiles while expanding its fleet of fast-attack boats and submarines, U.S. and Middle Eastern analysts say.
– New York Times – Two Iranian warships that docked in a Syrian port as a senior Iranian lawmaker denounced American calls for arming the Syrian opposition were reported on Tuesday to have left the Mediterranean, sailing south through the Suez Canal toward the Red Sea.
– Daily Telegraph – Iran’s navy claimed its warships entered the Mediterranean on Saturday to show its ‘might’ to regional countries, as a high-level American official was due to arrive in Israel.
– Stratfor – Stratfor sources have indicated that Iranian naval exercises scheduled to take place by Feb. 19 have been delayed or possibly canceled. Given other recent moves by the United States and Iran aimed at reducing bilateral tensions, the apparent delay may have been motivated by a desire to facilitate talks on Iran’s nuclear program, among other issues.