Iran Pretends to Control the Strait of Hormuz

Well, this is hilarious. In addition to saying it knows all the secrets of America’s infamous RQ-170 Sentinel UAV, Iran is claiming to have control over who enters and exits the Persian Gulf.

Yes, Iran is trying to imply that American carrier battle groups are checking in with the Iraniang Revolutionary Guard Corps to make sure its ok they enter the Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz. Here’s what Iran’s official FARS news agency is “reporting” on the matter.

 A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said that all vessels, including the US warships, enter the Persian Gulf waters through the Strait of Hormuz only after they are checked by the IRGC naval forces.

“The alien vessels which enter the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz always provide the needed answers and information to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) units,” Lieutenant Commander of the IRGC Naval Force Alireza Tangsiri said on Wednesday.

He further noted the deployment of a US aircraft carrier in the region, and said, “This vessel, similar to the other warships, answered all the questions asked by the IRGC Navy without any problem or making any particular move and then continued the path to its specified destination.”

It sounds to me like Iran is trying to spin a situation where IRGC vessels might literally say hello to U.S. warships transiting the Gulf and get a response as is normal in the high seas. U.S. Navy ships are definitely not seeking Iran’s permission to enter the Gulf — home of the American 5th Fleet at Bahrain.

While Iran’s latest statement it laughable, it’s submarines, missile boats, swarming speedboats and coastal-launched missiles may pose some threat to American forces in the region, U.S. naval officials are worried about Iran’s ability to mine the heck out of the relatively narrow strait.

Just last week several admirals working on expeditionary power projection lamented the fact that countermine techniques cannot detect mines and clear paths through minefields fast enough. More on this tomorrow.

H/T to BI



  • LKitty

    Oh Iran… that’s just cute.

    • LKitty

      In all seriousness this article me of a story someone mentioned on DTech or DODbuzz regarding Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper’s straight up domination with just a small fleet of boats in 2002’s war games… awesome:…

      I may not be remembering correctly, but wasn’t there supposed to be an LCS module designed for mine sweeping? I’m sure we’re prepared for a situation in the Strait of Hormuz, but it’d be nice to know we have something clever up our sleeves.

      • Tyler Totten

        Yes, Riper did kick a** in that wargame, but remember that’s why they had to play it through again, with a script, they didn’t like that he could do that…

      • STemplar

        Van Riper’s deal was a wake up call but unfortunately as with all embarrassment in DC the result was over reaction. We didn’t lack the ability deal with swarming boats, we just didn’t bother to deploy for the threat.

        LCS does have a counter mine module and l think l read it is the only one actually working.

        • Mike D

          Van Riper was a fraudster, for example all the ships he used on his team would magically regenerate after being destroyed and the weapons they used needed no targeting data, eg they knew where to launch their ASM’s without ever having any real targeting data. The whole things been debunked more times than i can remember. Don’t read too much into it.

  • ziv

    That situation just s**** a**. I have met scores of Iranians here in the States and nearly to a person they are hard working, friendly people that are owners of their own business all out of proportion to their numbers. And they are here, and there is a bunch of reactionary bozos running their home country into the ground. No easy answers.

    • blight_

      The Iranians who came here fled the revolution. Either they helped depose the Shah and then ran for their lives when the religious right took over the revolution,or they left with the Shah in the first place.

      • 19E10

        Blight, My Iranian friends at work identify themselves as Farsi (they went through HELL in Iran because they were Christians). They point out that the religious right in ANY country are scary people…

        • Chris

          Two of my best friends growing up were Farsi (Iranian)… They fled Iran when the Shah was deposed and gave up everything trying to come to the US. They are wonderful, hard-working people.

          • WRG01

            Farsi is a language. Persian is an ethnicity. Persian is the majority ethnicity in Iran (aka: Persia). Dari is another major language and found mostly in eastern Persia (Afghanistan). Many Sufists and other minority Islamic sects that straddle the border between modern Iran and Afghanistan speak dialects of these languages. Dari is spoken around Herat, an ancient eastern Persian city located currently in Afghanistan (what was once eastern Persia). Now, Shiite Islam is the majority religion in Iran and the “revolution” has resulted in the persecution of both ethnic and religious minorities. Zoroastrianism started in Persia (Iran) and is the world’s oldest monotheistic religion (as recorded). It is also believed to be the basis for Judaism….but that’s another discussion!

          • Ziv

            WRG is right about what the Iranians I know say, that they are Persians, not Iranian like the current politicians there. Just to make it even more complicated, several of the Persians I know are actually armenian families, (not Armenian nationals though) and most of those are Christian.

    • Anonymous

      They have their political bozos and we have ours. Politicians everywhere are the same, we just have bigger guns.

  • reader

    AFAIK IRNA is the official news agency
    FARS is semi-official and seems to carry the over the top and propaganda prone news (sensationalist perhaps).

  • Marc Pavone

    among the questions asked, “You’re not going to kill us, please?”

  • Brian Black

    Not a navy man, but I thought it was a matter of routine for US Navy warships to respond and identify themselves if a query is made by another vessel.

    If living in their fantasy world amuses the Iranians, and doesn’t harm anyone else, then let them play their little games. They’ll no doubt soon be giving permission for a whole load of MOPS to check into their airspace too.

    • TMB

      There’s a joke that’s made its rounds on the internet the last couple years. A USMC plane is flying a patrol in Iraq and Iran calls it on the radio accusing it of entering Iranian airspace. After going back and forth on whose airspace the plane is in, the Iranians threaten to scramble interceptors. The pilot says “This is a United States Marine Corps F/A-18 Super Hornet. Send them up, I’ll wait!”

      • shawn1999

        Haha!! Good one!! This one is as good as the USMC against the Taliban! Ends with the Tali leader sending 100 troops over the hill against 1 USMC, and one lone survivor coming back stating “He lied! There’s really 2 of them!”

  • Kski

    The last part of the story with all the talk about the threats they pose is all thats worth reading.

    • cliff

      …do they really need to expose what deficiencies we have? This is the problem I have with the government, and the media. There are some things that dont need to be put out there. There are some things that the media (and all of the rest of us) really dont need to know….USN retired

  • majr0d

    Silly but interesting. This is a great story to show those that think apologies by government officials don’t mean much in that part of the world.

  • tom

    The funny headline says it all! I think iran is smoking their own stuff a little to much.Oh! and thanks jimmy carter for todays iran you lame pussyfooted dummy.carter the second worst president ever obama being the worst knocking carter after decades of holding the # 1 position.

  • tom

    the deleted word in my comment had to do with cats but the other term.

    • shawn1999

      I was having fun playing mad-lib with it!

  • Prodozul

    And in other news Ahmadinejad has a three hour conversation with Kim Jong-il on his invisible cell phone

  • dddd

    Does anyone remember the Iranian flying boats? That was the best.

  • yankeefift

    is the sub in that photo being towed?

    • guess

      Yes it would appear so. Good catch

    • DGR

      No, its…… its…… its pushing another ship. Ya thats it, its pushing a ship with a giant push pole that just looks like a tow cable. In fact its pushing a broken American ship, American ships are inferior to Irans mighty warships!

  • Chops

    The amazing thing to me is we sell our fighters and other eqpt to other countries and will not give them the source codes to our stuff,now all of a sudden Iran says they have cracked our codes when not even some of our most trusted allies can.I would like to get my hands on whatever it is they’re smoking-I’d be a millionaire.

    • Chops

      What i’m getting at is they are as delusional about controlling the straits as they are about cracking our codes.

      • passingby

        I don’t think they were referring to software source codes. I think it’s the control codes.

        • shawn1999

          No, they recently stated they cracked our codes. To prove it, they pulled the un- or light- encypted maintenance logs and claimed it was used over Abottobad a couple weeks prior to the OBL mission. I always wonder how they spin it whenever their sailors are rescued from pirates by Americans….

  • Lance

    That would be funny if it Iran wasn’t so pathetic. More propaganda to keep hard liners in Iran pleased compared to the truth that if the US wanted we could snuff out Iran in a instant.

  • v0id

    I laughed but was impressed by the description as “alien vessels”. Gotta give ’em credit where it’s due… he could be the next Michael Bay!

    • blight_

      In legal terms, the term “alien” references foreign entities. The most obvious reference is “illegal alien” and “Alien Tort Claims Act”. Or a translation issue the original language of the statement.

      • v0id

        So “alien” (also referencing extraterrestrial life) was a more coherent option than “American”?

        • blight_

          They want to appear impartial. Also, they want to reserve the right to limit /whoever/ they wish, and not just Americans.

          For instance, if the United States were to launder some DDG’s to say…Kuwait or Qatar. Or enlisted allies with modern DDGs to intervene litorally and just hung back with SSGN’s…

  • Josh

    All I can say is thank god they decided to let us into the Strait!

  • Mike

    I’m just an old snipe, so correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t firing on a US warship by a foreign military an act of war? If so, then the mullahs are in for a rude surprise…

    • Jim

      So is attacking and taking over a foreign embassy and holding its personnel for some 440 days. ALL embassies, world-wide are considered as property of the country the embassy represents. Iran’s leaders allowed this to happen with the US embassy, and many of their current leaders were right there in it as so-called “students”. Carter should have gone to Congress and asked for an immediate declaration of war against Iran; and mostly we would not be seeing or be involved in a lot of the stuff we are now-a-days. As in any dictatorship, religious or secular, all they understand is force and power.

      • blight_

        In the defense of Carter, we didn’t have TLAM for these kinds of things. We were oriented towards delivering nukes standoff, not conventional munitions. This leaves the Navy, which was still stung after meh ops off of Vietnam for little gain.

        Carter would probably have seen that airpower didn’t deter Vietnam, and since Tehran is far inland you can’t pressure political leadership. At the same time, it would involve penetrating Iranian airspace defended with American export-grade hardware, against American trained air defense troops and American-trained pilots. Awkward?

        The other possibility is that American embassy workers were used as a distraction while other Americans were extracted from the country. Like aerospace workers disabling export hardware or CIA personnel and their assets.

  • Globalstrat

    The Iranians could, if they wanted to, mine the strait, or bang a couple of Mk48s into tankers or ever a carrier. Tbh, they could, they’re just not brave enough.

    • DGR

      Sure they could, but Iran wouldbe rendered into a smoking hole within 48 hours. Its like North Korea, at this time they could do some serious damage in the first round, but they dont have a chance in hades against a sustained fight. They might be stupid, but there not stupid enough to pick a fight they know they cant win.

  • hikerguy

    Very hilarious indeed. BUT…..don’t think the Iranian military doesn’t have a plan. They know they will be outgunned, so I see desperation moves off the bat. Wave after wave of suicide boats loaded with explosives, mines all over the place, short and medium range missles galore. Maybe not the most accurate, but many will be shot off at Israel and possibly the Saudis as well just to get the entire Middle East in a turmoil. It won’t be an easy victory without problems.

  • WRG01

    This gives Iran an opportunity to save face at home. It gives them a mark of success…of control over something that they cannot. It is critical to establishing/maintaining peace. My kids do this all the time. One will be right or first, but the other will say that he/she is. Everyone knows the truth, but what harm is it to allow my son or daughter to claim “victory” for the sake of avoiding a meltdown?

  • Thomas F. McCoy

    An Iraqi answers his Muslim Iranian brothren, When asked. How did we best fight the Americans.? IRAN.

    • H. Drinkwater

      Wow, you’re cool.

  • Karl

    Whilst I agree with the article in principle about Iran’s statement being a show, the “professional” quality of this article is somewhat lacking. I dunno if it’s just me but this really smacks of unprofessional writing and personal opinion, given that it’s a worded version of “lol, Iran…”. Fairly disappointed as this is normally a fairly worded, balanced website.

    • Kevin

      Well, regardless of the regime’s nature and overall ability at managing the country… the iranian leadership has been running circles around the US one along with their iraqi pals, until the occupation ended not with a bang, but with a whimper; it has been (mostly, the Mantis thingie comes to mind) successfully playing brinkmanship games with the West since, what, 1979?, and, it has been engaged in a complex chess match over the last decade to expand its influence.

      Note also its proxies (the West cutting and running out of Lebanon, with the USA leading the way, the bloodied nose hezbollah gracefully gave to Israel back in 2006, the UK misadventures in southern iraq), and its BRICS backing… or even JUST how Iran got hold of that super-duper secret drone… hell, even the captured brit sailors mess?
      *Clearly*, Iran is a joke country, that is not to be even talen semi-seriously, iranians are complete retards, backward brown-skinned clowns - let’s all laugh at them on the intertubes, shall we?!

      • Karl

        Summed up exactly what I was getting towards Kevin. Given that this is a professional level website with employees who have worked, or still work, in the defence sector or international relations, this sort of article just makes me worry because someone who deals with this stuff daily as part of their career is not taking a relatively unstable state seriously. Even though the statement is more than likely spun in Iran’s favour, publishing an article that just laughs about it just reflects poorly on the site and the writers as a group.

        The West may not explicitly be enemies with Iran, in that we’re looking at war quite yet, but whatever happened to “never underestimate your enemy”?

        I don’t want to get too far into a discussion, I just think that this article was very poorly written compared to DT’s usual standard.

  • jacquesdaspy

    The Iranian Navy has three Russian Kilo Class submarines and a passel of “miniature” subs. Also in the neighborhood may be at least one Israeli sub and two to three American subs. The big question will be, who is tracking who with what?

  • George Lowry

    “[…]A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said[…]”
    IOW, Baghdad Bob lives on.

  • Bolton

    Things could have changed but the Iranians always query every ship that enter and exit the Persian Gulf. When I was in the Navy all communication with the Iranians had to be documented and forwarded to higher. It was considered normal and routine for Iran to do this. In no way was it considered that the Iranians were giving us “permission” to enter the Persian Gulf. If I remember correctly most if not all the transit is international waters. The little that Iran claims as territory through the straights(sp?) can also be claimed by Oman ls I knew. There is nothing Iran can do to shut down traffic in or out of the Gulf without violating international law.

  • jay miranda

    All humans breath, laugh, cry,sweat, bleed, yes die…Earth has been for 4 billion years we have pritty much wrecked it in less then 500 years ? Think about it, world wars we have only seen about 100 years. A nuke war will end it all in less then 1 day it took god & or evolution longer to create it all !!! LOL
    love & peace my brothers & sisters…i do love to watch the sun rise & set we all should start counting them as miracles. somebody please send this measage to all world leaders.
    want & ignorace are terrible.

    • DGR

      Send it to Iran and North Korea. The rest of the nations seem to understand mutually assured destruction.

  • Shrek

    “only after they are checked by the IRGC naval forces”

    Yea…just like how the guy at the end of the Maginot line checked the blitzkrieg entering France.
    “Excuse me? Will you stop that? No? Well, shit.”

    • blight_

      The Line stopped at Belgium due to the naive expectation that neutrality would protect the Low Countries along with budget cuts. Perhaps budget cuts were bigger, and the former used to retroactively justify prioritization of Alsace/Lorraine.

  • Dragonfry70

    I agree with an earlier poster that an attack could be viewed as an Act of War, however, they could also be deluded into thinking it is worth the risk. After all, isn’t it world news that we are withdrawing from all fronts in the Middle East and won’t we be suffering from a repeat of the Vietnam syndrome? Also, it is a new president who is pulling us out. Would he be willing to start a new conflict? And this is just what a reasonable (sane) person might think.

  • Mike

    If Iran, an Iranian politician or high military commander is publicly saying they should attack US. Isn’t that an act of war in itself?

    • Mike

      Not that anyone from the Iranian side did it. Just trying to make people see the stuff that goes on. I am talking about the daily threats from the US side.
      Here is todays:…

    • passingby

      by that standard, the US, the UK, and Israel have all committed an act of war against Iran years ago.

  • -_-

    i don know if any of you has acutlly been there but i have visited it before and the truth is only a small part of it is deep enough for big ships and other navy units to pass and iran has blocked it before in the war

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