Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Iran deploys Russian-made submarine in Gulf

Iranian Kilo Class Submarine

The AP is reporting that Iran has deployed one of its Russian Kilo submarine to a southern Iranian post near the Straits of Hormuz. This was originally reported by Iranian State Television.

The Taregh-1 joined the Iranian fleet in the southern port of Bandar Abbas after it was overhauled earlier this year, according to the TV report. It's one of three Russian Kilo class submarines that Iran obtained in the early 1990s.

Tuesday's announcement came two days after U.S.-led naval exercises got under way in the waters of the Persian Gulf. They are the largest such maneuvers aimed at countering sea mines ever to take place in the region.

American officials insist the exercises, which include a symposium followed by at-sea maneuvers launching later this week, are defensive in nature and not directed at any particular country.

But the U.S.-led drills are seen as a response to Iranian warnings earlier this year it could close the strategic oil route in the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for tighter Western sanctions. Tehran has since stepped back from such threats.