Iran’s Two-Bucket Flotilla

Posted February 17th, 2011 by Iron Mike

As the sun was setting here yesterday the news was all abuzz with news of an impending crisis:  Iran would sail two warships through the Suez Canal to Syria or maybe even to Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon.  Israel was incensed!  Surely there would be shooting.

My first reaction was this is Ahmadinejad trying to deflect the crowds of protesters in the streets of Tehran by doing a re-run of the Argentinean Falklands War.  He’s simply trying to divert attention at home by focusing on a so-called external enemy – Israel.  

Knowing a little about both country’s navies and air forces, it seemed a little surreal.  

Iran’s surface navy is small, and very outdated.  They have about six destroyers and frigates of US and British manufacture – dating from the early 1970s.  These are now very vulnerable ships which I’d have to guess are in poor condition, unable to sustain top speed, – if they can even reach top speed.  Unsupported by air cover they would be two sitting ducks.

Now Iran’s fast missile boat swarms and small submarine fleet are another matter.

They are quite modern, and fully capable of taking on our carrier battle groups in the confined waters of the Persian Gulf.  They can close off and even choke off the Straits of Hormuz at will.  That scenario could easily lead to nuclear war. China, who relies heavily on Iranian oil would defend them, the Europeans and the US would be ready to smoke ‘em.

So in either a bluff or a moment of grandstanding, there were two of Iran’s 40-year old relics chugging west toward the Suez.  What might happen?

First – to travel up the Red Sea they pass on the west side of Saudi Arabia – and very near Mecca and Medina.  Did I mention the Iranians really hate the Saudis?

Then they’d have to pass through the Suez Canal, just as Egypt is trying to figure out it’s next government.  

Then off the Israeli coast they’d present a threat.  Even 40-year old ships could stand off Haifa and Tel Aviv and launch short-range missiles with nerve or mustard gas.  It would be a suicide mission, but Ahmadinejad is a Twelver, and maybe many of his ship commanders are too.  Such an act might trigger his longed-for ‘end of days’ and bring forth that Twelfth Imam to lead them all to Heaven and their 72 virgins.

Whatever the plan, this morning the two Iranian ships are still in the Gulf of Aden – on ‘anti-piracy patrol’.  Good deal.  Let them light up a few Somali pirates. They’re sailing in a lot more salt water than they’re used to seeing.  Maybe this is just a training mission.

If Ahmadinejad’s regime survives this current round of unrest long enough for them to build even a dirty bomb, I think you’ll see this 2-ship gambit replayed on a regular basis.  If China should build the Iranians a couple of modern fast frigates, the whole game will suddenly change.

I think you’ll see [well, you won’t actually see…] US submarines on permanent patrol in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the Gulf of Aden for the next decade.

Remember, do NOT apply your western logic and reasoning to the Ahmadinejad Twelver regime.  They have totally different views of life, death, war, and peace.  And, they really really want you dead.

   /s/  Iron Mike
   Old Soldier, – Still Good for Parts!

One Response to “Iran’s Two-Bucket Flotilla”

  1. Rabid Republican

    The 5th Fleet would destroy these ships in a matter of minutes. I love these shows of force by weak nations… of course, if they had nuclear… oh, wait, they might. Hmm… now who let them do that? rr