Iran’s navy launched a new domestically manufactured destroyer on Saturday allegedly capable of evading radar technology, according to the government-run Islamic Republic News Agency.
As tensions between the United States and Iran continue to worsen, Iran is showing itself prepared for the next conflict.
The launching ceremony was broadcast live on Iranian state television. “This vessel is the result of daring and creative design relying on the local technical knowledge of the Iranian Navy … and has been built with stealth capabilities,” said Iranian Rear Adm. Alireza Sheikhi, head of the navy shipyards that built the destroyer.
If it does, in fact, possess stealth capabilities, this new class of destroyer is a significant boost in Iran’s naval power.
State television reported that the Sahand destroyer, is equipped with antiship and anti-aircraft guns, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, torpedo launchers, a helicopter pad and electronic warfare capabilities.
The Sahand joined Iran’s navy at the Bandar Abbas naval base in the Persian Gulf on the 33-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz. Iran controls this crucial sea-gate through which transits approximately 30 percent of global maritime oil trade. Its territorial borders cover roughly half of the Persian Gulf coastline. (To understand more about the importance of shipping lanes, read “Who Cares About Sea-gates?”)
Stratfor wrote: “The mere threat of closing the strait increases market uncertainty, stokes oil prices, and creates some leverage for Iran without requiring that it follow through.”
“Disruptions to global supply chains are, in fact, more devastating than a traditional military attack,” wrote Elisabeth Braw in Foreign Policy.
United States President Donald Trump pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in May. This deal was signed by Iran, the European Union, and six other nations and implemented on Jan. 16, 2016. The deal intended to curb Iran’s nuclear development program. The U.S reimposed all sanctions against Iran last month. Europe has tried to enable Iran to work around the U.S. sanctions, but its “Special Purpose Vehicle” policy may no longer include Iranian oil. And despite Germany’s attempts to nullify U.S. sanctions, Iran remains unsatisfied with Europe.
The Trump administration said its goal is to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero. Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Mohammad Ali Jafari said, “We will make the enemy understand that either all can use the Strait of Hormuz or no one.”
Iran has made this threat more than once in the past, but it has not followed through. But this time, tensions between the U.S. and Iran could push it over the edge. Because Iran benefits from trade through the open sea-gates, it doesn’t make sense for Iran to close them. The sanctions against Iran, however, are pushing it into a corner, and it may soon have to make an irrational decision.
In recent years, Iran has extended the reach of its navy. It has dispatched vessels into the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to escort its freighters. It has conducted military exercises in Yemen and has considered building naval bases there. (For more information about Iran’s strategy to become the gatekeeper of the Red Sea, read “Iran’s Red Sea Strategy.”)
Watch Jerusalem has been following this trend ever since Mr. Flurry forecast that Iran would gain a chokehold on the sea-gates. This forecast was made because of specific prophecies in the Bible.
“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (Daniel 11:42-43). These three nations—Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia—will align with Iran, giving it control of the Red Sea shipping lane. In his article “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy,” Watch Jerusalem editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote:
All you need to do is get a good map of the Middle East, with the emphasis on the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Then you can see why the king of the south, or radical Islam, is so interested in an alliance with or control over these two countries [Libya and Ethiopia] (as well as Egypt and Tunisia). They are on the two seas that comprise the most important trade route in the world!
If Iran gets control of that trade route, it could create enormous damage and chaos in America and Europe almost overnight. Germany and the Vatican, the heart of the Holy Roman Empire, are not going to allow the king of the south to get control of Jerusalem and the world’s number one trade route!
Watch Jerusalem assistant managing editor Brent Nagtegaal wrote, “Controlling these sea-gates means controlling the passage of the precious commodity [oil] into Europe.” Iran’s strategy revolves around controlling these shipping lanes because they are so vital to world trade. Iran could use control of the sea-gates as a negotiating tool. Fear of shutting down the sea-gates is a powerful bargaining chip, especially for Europe which heavily relies on the trade flowing through those straits.
“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40).
The king of the south (radical Islam, led by Iran) will push at Europe. One aspect of that push is Iran’s chokehold on the sea-gates.
Controlling the nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea would give Iran virtual control of trade through those seas. Iran’s stranglehold on the sea-gates will force Europe to war against the king of the south, igniting a third world war. For more information on where this is leading, please request Mr. Flurry’s free booklet The King of the South. This booklet will give you explicit understanding of where today’s current events in the Middle East—particularly as they apply to Iran—are leading.