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Iranian Aircraft Carrier

On 10 June 2020, satellite imagery of a model of an aircraft carrier on the coast of the Iranian port city of Abbas was released by the Associated Press. According to satellite photos, this aircraft carrier model is about 200 meters long and 50 meters wide, while the real "Nimitz" class carrier is more than 300 meters long and 75 meters wide.

The report said that although it has not been confirmed by the Iranian side, the appearance of this aircraft carrier "replica" indicated that the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards is preparing to carry out a similar simulated anti-ship drill in 2015.

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This aircraft carrier model is very similar to the one used by Iran in a large military exercise held in February 2015. In the 2015 exercise, Iran surrounded the "aircraft carrier" with a speedboat equipped with heavy machine guns and rockets, and then locked and destroyed the aircraft carrier model with land-based anti-ship missiles. At that time, the commander of the Iranian Navy stated that "the US aircraft carrier is a huge ammunition depot, which is loaded with many weapons, ammunition, fuel, missiles, torpedoes, etc.", and will cause a violent explosion once it is shot.

Iranian Aircraft CarrierIran's Deputy Navy Commander Captain Mansour Maqsoudlou announced 28 September 2011 the country's plan to design and manufacture aircraft carriers. The initial designs for building the carriers have been approved and the process of research, design and manufacture will start soon, Captain Maqsoudlou told IRNA. The Iranian commander pointed to the Navy's capacities to accomplish the task despite the time-consuming nature of aircraft carrier building. The Navy has set an agenda to produce vessels of different classes, some of which are being mass-produced and others being under study, Maqsoodlou pointed out.

The Kharg supply and replenishment ship, which features a helipad, has been described by the Iranian press variously as a "cruiser," "aviation cruiser," and "helicopter carrier." Iran designates the Kharg as a helicopter carrier, the largest of its kind in West Asia. The carrier operates as a backup aircraft transport for the Iranian Navy’s destroyers in international waters. The Kharg has also been described by the Iranian press variously as a "cruiser" or "aviation cruiser". Every country is entitled to call its ships whatever it likes, but Iran is uniquely imaginative in ship designations.

Western media reported that Iran was trying to build an aircraft carrier that is much like the CVN-68 Nimitz. The three US government officials claimed that Tehran did not hide the process of this "strange" construction near Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf, and the images taken from satellites represent the ship that is developing a little while. Some officials in the US Department of Defense, who did not want to be named, told AFP: We believe that the Iranians are trying to do this in this way, and that is odd. We do not know what Iran is looking for through the construction of this ship.

The mock-up, which satellite photos revealed also had mock aircraft on deck, is about two-thirds the size of the Navy’s Nimitz-class carrier and according to experts is not a functioning aircraft carrier. “We do not assess that Iran has the capability to build an aircraft carrier,” says Navy Commander Jason Salata of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain. “We do not assess that this particular barge would impact our operations here.”

However, the officials emphasized: this sample is not working on a carrier or a nuclear propulsion system. The ship is essentially a large float equipped in a way that looks like an aircraft carrier. The American media reported the US intelligence and security authorities were convinced that this is due to Iran's work in the Persian Gulf.

The replica of the Nimitz Aircraft Carrier, which American experts evaluated in different ways, was in fact part of the newly comissioned film by Nader Talebzadeh, entitled Airbus. Iranian-owned Al-Alam News Network reported that the fact is that Nader Talebzadeh, a well-known documentary filmmaker and filmmaker in Iran, was preparing to make a new film and the ship is part of the film's decoration. The creation of a cinematic Airbus movie with the theme of the Iranian plane crash in the Persian Gulf has been launched by the American carrier, directed by Nader Talebzadeh and Payhtun. The Airliner 655 Airlines of the Islamic Republic crashed on July 12, 1988, following a strike by the United States aircraft aircraft missile, and all 290 people were martyred.

The joint Iranian-Canadian production was first announced in April 2013. According to Iranian website Cinemanegar, it is being co-directed by Nader Talebzadeh and Paxton Winters. The Iranian reporting did not specify if in the movie the Nimitz aircraft carrier was meant to take the place of the USS Vincennes, which is a guided missile class cruiser not an aircraft carrier.

Iran's Nader Talebzadeh and American Paxton Winters planned to jointly make a movie titled 'Airbus' on US 1988 attack on Iranian passenger plane. "We had negotiated over the issue which has been postponed to another meeting. The film will be made if the financial problem is resolved," said Director of Iran’s Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) Shafi Aqa Mohammadian. He said the scenario of the film is very remarkable and had been welcomed by foreign directors.

Iran’s Visual Media Institute (VMI) had already planned to produce the movie which is about the Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655)and shot down by the U.S.S. Vincennes over the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988. However, it was replaced by Iran’s Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC). The film will star both Iranian and American actors, most prominently Sean Ali Stone, the son of American filmmaker Oliver Stone, and Val Kilmer. The Iranian actress and screenwriter Mina Masoumi and the American documentarian and telefilm producer Scott J.T. Frank jointly wrote this cinematic project’s script.

Nader Talebzadeh is an Iranian filmmaker who supported President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Talebzadeh is also a producer, Channel One TV program host “A’sr” (The Time) a writer, and New Horizon Conference Chair.

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Iran's Revolutionary Guards staged a large-scale military exercise in the Persian Gulf in Febuary 2015, and during this "Great Prophet 9" war games on 25 February 2015, the IRGC launched hundreds of rockets targeting a mock US aircraft carrier. The drill was the first to involve a replica of a U.S. carrier. Military expert Houshang Hassan-Yari, told VOA (Persian) the war games aim to convey a clear message while nuclear negotiations are underway between Iran and the P5+1. Hassan-Yari added that the message of the war games - attended by Iran's parliament speaker, Ali Larijani - was clear. "With these exercises, Larijani wanted to show that Iran has a highly developed military capability and this will further bolster its political stance vis-à-vis the nuclear talks," he said. "Larijani's remarks indicate that the war games are linked to the nuclear talks and that the government regards these maneuvers as some kind of leverage."

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said that Iran is the perpetual defender of the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. Commander Jafari made the remarks on the sidelines of the 9th massive military exercise, codenamed 'Payambar-e Azam' (The Great Prophet ) currently underway in the Strait of Hormuz, southern Iran. The drill contains the message of deterrence, he said, adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran 'has always been defending the Strait of Hormuz and will prove it to the world today by this wargames.' A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the Iranian Navy can sink the giant US aircraft carriers if they pose a threat to Iran's maritime interests, Press TV reported. Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, commander of the IRGC Navy, said Wednesday that Iranian vessels will have no difficulty targeting state-of-the-art aircraft carriers operated by the US Marine Corps if any battle erupts in the future.

First, IRGC Navy speedboats conducted mining operations to isolate the “carrier” and limit its maneuverability. Dozens of small speedboats — each armed with an M-08 contact mine — swarmed around the mock up. Iranian state television claimed that “a vast area was mined in under 10 minutes.” During the second phase, speedboats attacked the giant ship with 107-millimeter rockets, too small to sink a warship the size of an aircraft carrier, but sufficient to disable self-defense systems, such as radars, Phalanx CIWS and missile launchers. The drill saw nearly 400 rounds of 107-millimeter missiles strike a huge model of a US aircraft carrier. Then, speedboats launched a barrage of a dozen Chinese-designed C-704 anti-ship cruise missiles. The fourth phase included a barrage of shore-launched anti-ship C-802 cruise missiles and Fateh-100 ballistic missiles toward the barge - two of each. The fifth phase saw a Bell 206 helicopter fire a C-704K anti-ship cruise missile from between its skids. The final phase entailed a remotely-controlled suicide boat packed with more than 1,000 kilograms of high explosives ram into the mock up.

Photos released from Iranian news agencies on 25 February 2015 showed a smoldering wreck. The missiles Iran fired at it are real. The exercise — known as Great Prophet 9 — didn’t factor in American escort warships and warplanes responsible for defending real carriers. Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, the spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said the Americans were monitoring the drills, which had no effect on maritime traffic. He downplayed the simulated attack on the carrier, saying the U.S. military was “not concerned about this exercise.” “We’re quite confident of our naval forces’ ability to defend themselves,” he said. “It seems they’ve attempted to destroy the equivalent of a Hollywood movie set.”

On 13 February 2019, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated an Iran-based entity that organizes international conferences that supported the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force’s (IRGC-QF’s) efforts to recruit and collect intelligence from foreign attendees, including U.S. persons. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said “Treasury is sanctioning New Horizon Organization for its support to the IRGC-QF. New Horizon hosts international conferences that have provided Iranian intelligence officers a platform to recruit and collect intelligence information from attendees, while propagating anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial...."

New Horizon Organization hosts international conferences that serve as a platform for the IRGC-QF to recruit and collect intelligence from attendees. Conference organizers have facilitated contact between the IRGC-QF and U.S. persons. Several New Horizon Organization-sponsored conferences have been held in the past few years in Iraq and Iran, where recruitment and collection efforts were made. These anti-Western conferences propagate anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, including Holocaust denial.

OFAC also designated four Iranian individuals affiliated with New Horizon Organization. Gholamreza Montazami, New Horizon Organization’s founder and Executive Director, and Hamed Ghashghavi, New Horizon Organization's Secretary for International Affairs, have collaborated with IRGC circles to organize regime-sponsored New Horizon Conferences. Nader Talebzadeh Ordoubadi, New Horizon Organization’s Chairman, and Zeinab Mehanna Talebzadeh, who serves as the Chairman's special assistant, have facilitated New Horizon Conferences.

Iranian Aircraft Carrier Between July and August 2019 workers relocated the barge inside the breakwaters at Bandar Abbas naval base to begin repairs. While work was not initiated until October, imagery acquired in November showed substantial patchwork already completed as well as ongoing reconstruction of the lattice structure supporting the barge’s deck. The repairs suggest that it could be used in an upcoming military exercise before the end of the Iranian year in March 2020.

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Page last modified: 20-05-2022 17:50:41 ZULU