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Salem Alketbi

‘Fishing nets’ in Gulf waters

الاثنين - 04 يناير 2021

Mon - 04 Jan 2021

From now on, the fleets of the major powers should stay away from the “fishing nets” deployed by the Iranian mullahs’ regime in Gulf waters. The deputy chairman of the Iranian Shura Council, Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, threatened to hunt down the USS Georgia after it passed through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Gulf recently.

Iranian forces are capable of “capturing the US nuclear submarine USS Georgia with a fishing net. So, we are not worried” about recent US military movements in the Gulf waters, Hashemi said in an intemperate, not to mention ludicrous, statement.

We know that such statements are a kind of palavering and propaganda typical of the mullahs in situations of crisis and tension, especially with the US, to boost their supporters’ morale at home. They consist of exaggeration, self-aggrandisement and trivialization of their strategic adversaries. The old mullahs’ rhetoric.

But what is astonishing is that these statements come shortly after numerous blows to Iran’s security system at home, such as the assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, and abroad, as in the murder of former IRGC commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Also, numerous fires and mysterious explosions have occurred in key Iranian institutions and facilities without the perpetrators and sponsors of these incidents having been identified. It then seems hard for a regime that does not protect its institutions, scientists and leaders to convince anyone, even among its supporters and sympathizers, that it can deter threats and confront adversaries.

Moreover, it is ridiculous to speak of “capturing” sophisticated nuclear-armed submarines with fishing nets. The problem with statements by the Iranian official is not limited to dramatization and propaganda, but also to self-deception and escapism.

We are talking here about the largest submarine of the US Navy, loaded with 154 Tomahawk missiles. The submarine was dispatched to the Gulf in a warning message to the mullahs against any act of aggression in this sensitive region of the world.

Its deployment was prompted only by serious reports of the IRGC’s intentions to carry out attacks or acts of aggression directly against US strategic interests, or to compromise US regional allies’ interests. The submarine was sent into the Gulf to make a show of force and give a clear picture to the mullahs’ regime.

According to the Iranian official, US nuclear-powered submarines are a source of concern for Arab countries in the Gulf. Referring to the GCC countries’ dependence on the desalinated sea waters of the Gulf and the Arabian Sea, he said that in case of an atomic explosion, the water would be contaminated with radioactive elements and desalination centers in these countries would be ruined, which would further complicate their situation.

This statement confirms the Iranian regime’s persistence in threatening neighboring countries, although they are not involved in the recent escalation between the mullahs and the Americans. “When the enemy gets close to us, our confidence grows, because the enemy becomes within our reach,” Hashmi said.

“Iran’s security perimeter extends from the Gulf to the Arabian Sea to 30 degrees north of the Indian Ocean. Anything that enters this perimeter, whether it’s a submarine or an aircraft carrier, will be within our reach. It will certainly not be a target, but we will seize it and make it ours.”

Here, however, we are talking about a submarine armed with the newest weapon in the US military arsenal, not a fishing boat that the mullahs’ regime can detain and pirate as they do with traditional fishing boats citizens of neighboring countries use to earn a living but fall victim to the banditry of GRI ships.

These blunt statements indicate how narrow the horizon is for the Iranian mullahs. The mullahs are having their worst moments, despite the near end of President Donald Trump’s term in office. Sanctions are intensifying and economic pressures are tightening. They simmer with fears that the incumbent president may order a swift and sudden military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities and leadership.

Instead of missing the opportunity to unleash a serious military conflict, which could result from military miscalculations in such circumstances as military warcraft in the Gulf come into daily contact, they are playing with fire and the feelings of their supporters by spreading bogus propaganda.

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