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Iran’s IRGC Navy takes delivery of more than 100 homegrown combat speedboats

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows members of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy during a ceremony in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf coast. (Photo by IRNA)

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy has taken delivery of 110 domestically-manufactured combat speedboats for maritime operations in Iran’s southern territorial waters.

The speedboats joined the IRGC Navy’s fleet during a Saturday ceremony attended by the IRGC Chief Commander Major General Hossein Salami and high-profile military figures in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.

The speedboats are highly maneuverable, and are equipped with missile and rocket launchers as well as surveillance and reconnaissance devices.

In comments at the event, General Salami said Iran's advanced naval vessels have high destructive power to defend the country in terms of range, speed, accuracy.

He said the construction of high-speed IRGC vessels has progressed from rocket launchers to missile launchers.

"These missiles are precision-guided and their range has increased from 10 kilometers to a strategic range that will be announced soon," he said.

Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, said the new speedboats have been developed by local experts and can reach speeds of 75-90 knots (138-166 km/h).

He added that all military equipment for the boats, including missiles, rockets, and radar systems, have been manufactured by IRGC specialists.

Last month, Tangsiri said Iranian forces have “slapped” the Americans six times during confrontations in the Persian Gulf over the past 18 months.

Speaking to a gathering of Basij students at the former US embassy compound in Tehran on November 20, the IRGC Navy chief commander was apparently referring to the period since the US assassination of Iran's legendary commander General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. 

The Iranian youth, he said, should know “the importance of the Persian Gulf and the fact that our country is of great geographical significance".

“This importance has led us to slap the Americans six times in one and a half years of confrontation, many of which have not been covered by the media yet,” Rear Admiral Tangsiri said.

He cited the IRGC Navy's intervention last October to prevent US forces from stealing an Iranian oil cargo in the Sea of Oman in a dramatic operation which involved Iranian forces rappelling down to the ship's deck, calling it the latest slap.  

“The tanker was carrying Iranian oil, but with the support of the Americans, it was refusing to deliver its cargo to our country; of course, this was the second ship we confiscated and the previous one was not reported,” the commander explained.

“In order to stop it, the first group of our forces landed on the deck of the oil tanker in a heliborne operation and the second group entered the ship after traveling by vessels. However, as soon as the tanker headed to our waters, two American destroyers quickly approached from both sides to prevent its transfer to our waters,” he recounted.

Six Iranian speed boats and two vessels were then dispatched to the scene, warning away a US helicopter which fired chaff as it fled, thinking it might be targeted by Iranian missiles, Tangsiri said. 

“Of course, we also had missiles as well as combat and reconnaissance drones in the area, but we only deployed our gunboats to confront the US destroyers because we wanted to humiliate them,” he added.


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