Iranian government officials announced this week they plan to deploy a fleet of warships across the Atlantic Ocean and into the Gulf of Mexico, saying they intent to dock at “friendly states” across South America.
According to the New York Post, military commanders confirmed the Iranian Navy’s deployment to the western hemisphere, saying “Our fleet of warships will be sent to the Atlantic Ocean in the near future and will visit one of the friendly states in South America and the Gulf of Mexico.”
American officials believe the fleet will likely stop at Venezuela, a staunch critic of the United States and fierce Iranian ally. The armada will include warships, submarines, and support ships.
Some military experts are skeptical of the announcement.
“Making an announcement is very different than actually being able to carry out such a big and sophisticated task of sending Iranian ships all the way to the Gulf of Mexico,” one analyst told the Jerusalem Post.
“And even if Iran succeeds I think it’s going to be mostly for show for domestic purposes. The Iranians have said that the Americans have no business being in the Persian Gulf and therefore maybe by doing this they are trying to reciprocate by saying that ‘just as you come to our backyard we can come to your backyard,'” he added.