The launch comes after an adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned of “full-fledged war” in the wake of reports Donald Trump wanted to bomb a nuclear facility in the country.
The ‘Abdollah Roudaki’ is aimed at projecting Iranian powerCredit: AFP
A missile launcher parked on the ship Credit: AFP
Photographs of the ‘Abdollah Roudaki’ ship showed it carrying truck-launched surface-to-surface missiles and anti-aircraft missiles as well as drones.
Iran used the boats to devastating effect in the seizure of the UK-registered Stena Impero in the Gulf in 2019.
Their speed is also put to effect to harass the much more powerful but slower ships of the US Navy.
The 12,000-ton ship, which is 492 feet long has, a pad for helicopters to land on but is small in comparison to a U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, which is 1,092 feet long.
The ship is operated by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a military elite dedicated to defending the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and is named after one its dead commanders.
Some of the equipment the ship carries on displayCredit: EPA
The ship is operated by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Credit: EPA
A soldier taking up a position on the shipCredit: EPA
The commander of the Guards navy, Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri, suggested his forces wanted to move beyond the waters of the Gulf into deep-water patrolling.
Typically, the Guard covers the waters of the Persian Gulf, while Iran’s navy patrols the Gulf of Oman and beyond.
“Presence and assignments in the Indian Ocean is our right,” Tangsiri said.
The ship appears to be an answer to US Navy patrols in the region by its Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, whose aircraft carriers routinely travel through the waters of the region.
The ship carrying the speed boats used by the Revolutionary Guards Credit: EPA
Helicopters can land on the ship’s deckCredit: EPA
Iran sees those missions, as well as Israel’s expanding presence in the region, as a threat.
Tensions have once again been rising between the US and Iran as Washington seeks to contain the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions.
Donald Trump tore up 2015 agreement aimed at limiting Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons a “horrible, one-sided deal” that failed to address its missile programme and behaviour in the region.
The UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, recently warned that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium at its Natanz site has risen to more than 12 times the limit permitted since Trump withdrew from the deal.
It emerged yesterday the President asked whether he had any options to attack the site after the IAEA’s report but was talked out of by advisers who said it could spark all-out war.