21:02 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Iran Unveils Plans to Create Gunboats Capable of Sailing 185 km/h Amid Simmering Gulf Tensions

    © AP Photo / Hasan Shirvani
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    The Iranian navy has multiple destroyers, frigates, corvettes and submarines at its disposal, but relies mostly on small fast attack missile boats and coastal patrol vessels to keep watch over its vast coastline of over 2,000 km.

    Iran plans to build fast boats capable of zipping around at 100 knots (115 miles or 185 km per hour) in the near future, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri has announced.

    “By tapping into the capabilities and technical expertise of our domestic elite, we will move toward production of speed vessels that can travel at the speed of 100 knots in the near future,” Tangsiri said, speaking to reporters in Rasht, northeast Iran on Wednesday, his remarks cited by PressTV.

    The commander boasted that fast boats capable of cruising at speeds of 90 knots would be unveiled later Wednesday.

    Iran has developed a broad range of home-grown military equipment in recent months amid escalating tensions in the region, including everything armoured vehicles and missile systems to drones, electronic jamming equipment and a new air defence system known as the Bavar 373. The country was forced to develop its own defence industry after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which resulted in the US and other countries slapping the country with an arms embargo.

    Last week, Commander Tangsiri warned that a “bitter fate” would await any country that encroaches on Iran’s sea borders, and said that the previous capture of American and British forces who had violated Iran’s sea area were just “warnings” to those who dare to breach the country’s maritime boundaries.

    Gulf Tensions

    Diplomatic tensions between Iran and the United States escalated into military tensions this past May, when the Us sent a carrier strike group to the Middle East after citing an unspecified Iranian 'threat' to US interests in the region. Since then, the Persian Gulf has seen a string of dangerous incidents, including tanker sabotage attacks, ship seizures and drone shootdowns, with Tehran and Washington blaming one another for the escalations and threatening each other with deadly consequences in the event of war.

    This summer, the US announced the formation of a maritime coalition aimed at protecting commercial vessels moving through the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. The UK, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have joined the initiative, while other major US allies, including Germany, France, and Japan have declined to join. Tehran has called powers from outside the region to stay out of the Gulf, and proposed the creation of a regional security effort to ensure the safety of local waters.

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