Thursday, June 14, 2007

Middle East Newsline - Iran Watch


WASHINGTON [MENL] -- Iran has expanded its naval fleet in the Straits of Hormuz, the passage for an estimated 40 percent of global crude oil shipments.
The U.S. Navy has determined that Iran has amassed a huge fleet of fast patrol boats in the 43-kilometer straits. The navy said the effort was led by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, responsible for strategic programs.
'This marks the implementation of Iran's swarm program, where dozens of armed speed boats attack much larger naval vessels from all sides,' an official said.
At this point, officials said, IRGC has deployed more than 1,000 FPBs in and around the straits. The vessels, armed with cruise missiles, mines, torpedoes and rocket-propelled grenades, were described as measuring up to 23 meters and could reach a speed of 100 kilometers per hour. "

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