The World’s Next Oil Shipping Corridor: The Arctic Ocean

It’s colder than the Persian Gulf, needs more icebreakers than the Suez Canal and passes less picturesque beaches than the Mediterranean, but the so-called Northern Sea route connecting Europe to Asia via the northern coast of Russia has its advantages. Continue reading

Epic US-Iran military cooperation in Iraq coincides with Israel’s war on Tehran’s Palestinian ally, Hamas

The US and Iran took the first steps for their military cooperation in Iraq on June 16, at the same time as Israel declared war on Tehran’s Palestinian ally, Hamas, in the wake of a fruitless four-day sweep of the West Bank Hebron region for the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped on June 12, and the detention of hundreds of Hamas activists – which Israel leaders said was just the beginning.

Overnight, President Obama informed Congress that up to 275 troops could be sent to Iraq to provide support and security for US personnel and the American Embassy in Baghdad,which with a staff of 5,000 is the largest in the world. About 170 of those forces are already in Iraq.

debkafile: That is only the first step, to be followed by more. US naval, air and Marine forces are assembling in the Persian Gulf ready to go in. Continue reading

US accepts Shahab-3s in Iran’s missile arsenal, but not long-range ICBMs. Deep resentment in Jerusalem

Two high-ranking US visitors to Israel, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, publicly assured Israel this month that the Obama administration “would do what it must” to prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. Yet at the same time, the same administration informed Tehran that the demand to restrict Iran’s missile arsenal did not apply to the Shahab-3 ballistic missile, whose range of 2,100km covers any point in the Middle East, including Israel. This missile carries warheads weighing 760 kg, to 1.1 tons, which may also be nuclear. Continue reading

Iran admiral says if there’s war, U.S. aircraft carriers in Persian Gulf will be a target

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran will target American aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf should a war between the two countries ever break out, the naval chief of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Tuesday as the country completes work on a large-scale mock-up of a U.S. carrier.

The remarks by Adm. Ali Fadavi, who heads the hard-line Guard’s naval forces, were a marked contrast to moderate President Hassan Rouhani’s recent outreach policies toward the West — a reminder of the competing viewpoints that exist at the highest levels within the Islamic Republic. Continue reading

Iran, China Expand Military Ties

The Iranian and Chinese defense ministers held high-level talks Monday in a bid to expand the military relationship between Tehran and Beijing, according to reports in China and Iran’s state-run media organs.

Iranian Defense Minister Hussein Dehghan met with his Chinese counterpart, Chang Wanquan, in Beijing on Monday to increase “cooperation between the two countries in military and defensive fields,” according to Iran’s state-run Fars News Agency.

Dehghan emphasized the mutual benefits of increased “military cooperation” between Beijing and Tehran in public comments and stated that the two militaries could work at “disarming the Zionist regime of its nuclear arsenals.” Continue reading

Iran cancels plan to have warships approach US borders in Atlantic

After a tense week of diplomacy between American and Iranian representatives, Iran has called off a deployment of warships to the Atlantic Ocean, the semi-official Fars news agency said on Sunday, shelving plans for its vessels to approach US maritime borders in response to the US navy’s presence in the Gulf.

The announcement comes shortly after Iran overturned the death sentence of a former US marine imprisoned in Iran on charges of working for the CIA. The American, Amir Hekmati, has had his sentence reduced to 10 years in prison by a supreme court decision. The commuted sentence is a positive signal for US-Iranian relations, but an ongoing debate over Iran’s nominated diplomat to the UN threatens to derail nuclear negotiations. The diplomat, Hamid Aboutalebi, is barred entry to the US due to alleged links to the 1979 hostage crisis, but Tehran has refused to consider a new candidate.

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Commodities: Iran challenges US sanctions with plans to double oil output by 2018

As already mentioned here a few times, third world countries have no bottom, thus making any sanctions against Iran’s oil industry worthless. The world has a high demand for oil and all sanctions will do is force the oil route to change direction towards another country.

Iran has unveiled plans to double its oil production by the end of the decade and, ignoring sanctions, pump billions of dollars of its currency reserves into developing its share of the world’s largest natural gas reservoir in the Persian Gulf.

The country’s new oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, has set a new output target of 5.7m barrels per day (bpd) of crude by 2018, according to the official state-run news agency Shana. The latest figures produced by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), show that Iran is currently pumping about 3m bpd of crude.

Tehran is also sending strong signals to the international community that it plans to press ahead with the development of vast natural gas reserves that it shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf. Moshtaq Ali-Gohari, head of the National Iranian Oil Company, told Shana over the weekend that the Islamic republic plans to invest almost $14bn (£8.3bn) to develop oil and gas fields that it shares with neighbours in the region. This could signal that Tehran is preparing for the further development of the South Pars field in the Gulf. Continue reading

US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar

Named after the late Admiral Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt, the warship sports advanced technology and a stealthy shape designed to minimise its visibility on enemy radar and reduce the size of its crew.

Among the 15,000-tonne destroyer’s cutting-edge features are a composite deckhouse with hidden radar and sensors and an angular shape that officials say will allow it to be confused for a small fishing boat on radars. It also has a wave-piercing hull designed to reduce the ship’s wake. Continue reading

Why is Iran building a mock US aircraft carrier?


Washington: Iran is building a nonworking mock-up of an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that US officials say may be intended to be blown up for propaganda value.

Intelligence analysts studying satellite photos of Iranian military installations first noticed the vessel rising from the Gachin shipyard, near Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf, last summer. The ship has the same distinctive shape and style of the Navy’s Nimitz-class carriers, as well as the USS Nimitz’s No. 68 neatly painted in white near the bow. Mock aircraft can be seen on the flight deck.

The Iranian mock-up, which US officials described as more like a barge than a warship, has no nuclear propulsion system and is only about two-thirds the length of a typical 1,100-foot-long Navy (335 metre) carrier. Intelligence officials do not believe that Iran is capable of building an actual aircraft carrier. Continue reading

U.S. Navy to deploy ‘Star Wars’-like laser system this summer; electromagnetic rail guns not far behind

BATH, Maine — Some of the Navy’s futuristic weapons sound like something out of “Star Wars,” with lasers designed to shoot down aerial drones and electric guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds. That future is now.

The Navy plans to deploy its first laser on a ship later this year, and it intends to test an electromagnetic rail gun prototype aboard a vessel within two years. Continue reading

Iran escalates threats against United States

IRGC navy commander warns that country can sink US aircraft carriers as defense minister promises response to military attack

On Sunday, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy Commander Ali Fadavi said that the US knows that its aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf would be sunk if it launched a military strike on Iran. Continue reading

Iran Says Warships Headed Close to US Borders

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian warships dispatched to the Atlantic Ocean will travel close to U.S. maritime borders for the first time, a senior Iranian naval commander said Saturday.

The commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, said the vessels have already entered the Atlantic Ocean via waters near South Africa, the official IRNA news agency reported. Continue reading

Oman’s $3 Billion Railroad Plan to Blunt Iran Oil Risk: Freight

Oman, which faces Iran across the Strait of Hormuz, said it’s poised to start raising cash for a $3 billion rail line offering an alternative route for oil and freight shipments that funnel through the 21 mile-wide channel.

The nation of 3.3 million people, located on the southern side of the strait, is considering issuing bonds by the end of 2014 to kick-start funding for the track across some of the Arabian peninsula’s harshest terrain, Abdulrahman Al Hatmi, a director at Oman National Railway Co., said in an interview. Continue reading

CHINA’S String of Pearls Strategy: Why is the U.S. AFRAID and how does it affect us?

Modernising the military is one of China’s four pillars in its modernisation drive which includes education, industry and infrastructure, military and agriculture.

China’s largest strategic concern – regime survival and domestic stability – directly links to its economy. To sustain its economic growth China has to be depending increasingly on its external supply of energy, raw materials and food. So the development of Sea Line of Communication or (SLOCs) is vitally important as more than 80% of China’s trade go through the sea. The majority of the energy comes from the country’s coal about 65 %, 30% by oil and remaining by gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power. Continue reading

Iran Launches ‘Large-scale’ War Drills in Persian Gulf

Iran kicked off a series of “large-scale” war games on Thursday to test the country’s air defenses, fighter jets, and bomber planes in the Persian Gulf region, according to regional reports.

The drills began Thursday in the south of Iran near the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a critical global shipping lane that Tehran has threatened to attack and choke off in the past.

The “technical core” of the war drills is to test Iran’s “air-to-air combat” prowess and its targeting of “flying objects,” according to reports in the country’s state-run media. Continue reading