After last month it was reported that the US Marine Corps was conducing 'live-fire drills' in the Persian Gulf amid continued soaring tensions with Iran, centered of late on Tehran's growing assistance to another 'rogue state' - Maduro's Venezuela - it appears Iran's military has upped the ante with similar drills of their own.
"Iran appears to have built a fake aircraft carrier off its southern coast for potential live-fire drills amid ongoing tensions with the U.S., satellite images showed Tuesday," a FOX-AP report says.
Analysts say the mock-up actually appears close to America's fleet of Nimitz-class carriers, commonly stationed in the region and routinely traversing the contested Strait of Hormuz. It even includes fake fighter jets parked on the deck.
"The replica carries 16 mock-ups of fighter jets on its deck, according to satellite photos taken by Maxar Technologies. The vessel appears to be some 650 feet long and 160 feet wide," the report continues.
Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) thus appears to be prepping what would be the second simulated carrier sinking within five years - the last time being a 2015 live-fire drill centered on attacking a carrier replica.
Currently, the US Navy has orders from the Pentagon to shoot at any Iranian military boat which harasses US ships.
In 2015 Iran filmed large-scale live-fire drills aimed at sinking a mock carrier:
In 2015 did same thing to show their force, but instead showed they had trouble sinking the mock up carrier.https://t.co/1Y7m7Dnbcm— Shaun (@ShaunHann1) June 9, 2020
A May 19 US Navy alert which Reuters described at the time as "aimed squarely at Iran" declared that "armed vessels approaching within 100 meters of a U.S. naval vessel may be interpreted as a threat."
This came after prior filmed incidents involving IRGC 'fast boats' circling American warships in a threatening way - sometimes for up to hours.
It's unclear exactly when Iran hopes to hold its 'sinking' of the mock carrier drills, but they'll likely film it for propaganda purposes once they do.