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24 Feb, 2019 15:10

Iran midget submarine 'at work': WATCH sea launch of cruise missile during massive drills

Iran midget submarine 'at work': WATCH sea launch of cruise missile during massive drills

An Iranian midget submarine has successfully carried out a cruise missile launch during a naval drill in the nation’s southern waters. The maneuvers came as US aircraft carriers returned to the region after a long absence.

A light Ghadir-class submarine fired an anti-ship cruise missile during massive naval drills, Iranian media reported on Sunday, releasing video footage of live fire drills. The adorable tiny submarine actually packs quite a punch for its size, as it’s fitted with two tubes capable of firing cruise missiles or conventional torpedoes.

Some Iranian outlets reported that the submarine had performed deep-water firing, yet publicly-available footage does not corroborate this. The video clearly shows the missile was launched when the submarine was on the surface. Nevertheless, a mock target was successfully hit, Iranian military officials reported.

It happened during the ongoing large-scale naval drill, ‘Veleyat-97.’ The war games are taking place in the area from the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz to the Sea of Oman and the northern parts of the Indian Ocean. The navy fired numerous cruise missiles from ships and coastal ground-based systems during the exercise. Tehran used the drill to showcase its newest frigate, ‘Sahand,’ and its Fateh-class submarines that military officials say can also carry cruise missiles.

The massive naval maneuvers are being staged amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US. In December, the Pentagon deployed its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS ‘John C. Stennis’ to the Persian Gulf. It became the first American warship of its type to cross the Strait of Hormuz since US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the nation out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program last year.

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The US had re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, targeting its oil trade and financial sector. Last week, Vice President Mike Pence called on the EU to “stop undermining” the US sanctions by allowing European companies to deal with Tehran.

Iranian officials slammed the sanctions as illegitimate and vowed to swiftly defend the nation from any outside pressure. In January, the navy announced its plans to send warships to the western Atlantic Ocean – a move that Tehran says is a response to the US naval presence in its backyard.

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