Iranian warships are headed to the US maritime border, reports The Associated Press on Saturday. The reason? The Iranian navy has made it clear that this is a message to the White House – a response to the recent U.S. naval deployments near Iran's coastlines.
A destroyer and a helicopter-carrying supply ship left Iran last month and are crossing the Atlantic Ocean, allegedly headed to the Atlantic maritime boundary on a three-month mission.
Iran's warships are in response to Washington's beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf, a move that the Islamic Republic continues to see as a threat.
The commander of Iran's Northern Navy Fleet, Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, said the vessels have already rounded South Africa and have entered the Atlantic Ocean.
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said America had a “controlling and meddlesome” attitude towards nations in the Middle East.
“American officials publicly say they do not seek regime change in Iran. That's a lie. They wouldn't hesitate a moment if they could do it,” Ali Khamenei said in a recent speech to mark the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
“The solution to our economic problems is not looking out and having the sanctions lifted ... My advice to our officials, as ever, is to rely on infinite indigenous potentials. Our (hostile) stance toward the United States is due to its controlling and meddlesome attitude.”
In Washington, a U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the move from Iran is simply posturing, and doubts that the nation will actually bring the two warships anywhere near the U.S. territorial waters.
The official added that “ships are free to operate in international waters.”