A nuclear-powered U.S. submarine entered the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz on December 21 as part of Washington’s latest deterrence mission against Iran as tensions escalated after Secretary of State for State Mike Pompeo accused Iranian-backed militias of rocket attacking the US Embassy compound. Sunday in Baghdad.
An Israeli Navy submarine visibly crossed the Suez Canal over water last week in what is seen as a show of force directed against Iran, Kan News, a broadcaster reported Monday evening. public.
Arab intelligence officials reportedly confirmed to Kan News that the IDF’s navy submarine had surfaced and faced the Persian Gulf, which is on the other side of Saudi Arabia, in a deliberate, approved act. by Egypt, and purportedly intended to “ send a message ” to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
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There has been no official comment from the Israel Defense Forces, with the IDF saying it was not responding to “such reports.”
Earlier, on December 21, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi warned Tehran against an attack on Israel, vowing that the Jewish state would retaliate forcefully against any aggressive action.
“Recently, we have heard growing threats from Iran against the State of Israel. If Iran and its partners, members of the radical axis [Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Palestinian terror groups], whether in the first circle of states or the second, carry out actions against Israel, they will find that their partnership is very expensive, ”Kohavi said as quoted by The Times of Israel at a military ceremony. He added:
“The IDF will attack with force any person who takes part, near or far, in activities against the State of Israel or against Israeli targets. I say it clearly and describe the situation as it is – the answer and all plans have been prepared and put into practice.
‘Message to Iran’
The move reported by the IDF Navy comes as a similar maneuver was undertaken Monday by an American submarine. The US Navy has confirmed that the guided-missile submarine USS Georgia entered the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz on December 21, accompanied by two US warships, the guided-missile cruisers USS Port Royal (CG 73 ) and USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), amid heightened tensions with Iran.
A US Navy official confirmed Fox News that the latest movements in the Persian Gulf were “long planned” ahead of the impending anniversary of the murder of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in Iraq on January 3, 2020 by an American drone.
According to the US official, the maneuvers were not in response to the rocket attack on the US Embassy compound in Baghdad on Sunday.
According to a US Navy statement, along with photos of the USS Georgia on the surface, the ship can carry 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles and 66 special forces soldiers.
The Navy warned that the military decision is intended to demonstrate “the United States’ commitment to regional partners and maritime security with a full spectrum of capabilities to remain ready to defend against any threat at all times.”
U.S. military officials feared a possible attack by Iran to avenge Soleimani’s assassination in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad airport in Iraq in early January.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami said in September on the Guard’s website that Tehran would avenge the US murder of its Commander-in-Chief, General Qasem Soleimani, by targeting those involved in a “Honorable” retaliation.
Peak in tensions in Iran
The show of force in the Persian Gulf comes amid heightened tensions with Iran after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran-backed militias for a rocket attack on the Iranian compound. US Embassy in Baghdad on December 20.
The attack left at least one local civilian dead, while no embassy staff were killed or injured, according to NPR, which cited US diplomatic sources.
In its statement, the US Embassy in Baghdad called the attack a “violation of international law” and an attack on “the sovereignty of the Iraqi government”, calling on Iraqi political and government leaders to “hold them accountable. responsible ”.
Mike Pompeo in a statement on Sunday also denounced the attack.
“The United States strongly condemns the latest attack by Iranian-backed militias on the international area of Baghdad,” he said.
Iran has vehemently denied the accusations made by the United States.
A bellicose verbal tit-for-tat comes in the wake of the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who helped run the country’s nuclear program, in late November.
The physicist was killed by gunfire east of Tehran, with the Iranian Supreme National Security Agency claiming that the Israeli spy agency Mossad and the People’s Mujahedin Organization, an Iranian political militant group banned in the country, were involved in the murder. Israel has since stopped short of officially commenting on the scientist’s death or the allegations.
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