In May 12, 2017 statements, Gen. Ahmad Mousavi, commander of a special forces unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, set out the IRGC Navy’s strategy for attacking American aircraft carriers in the Gulf. Gen. Mousavi was speaking on the occasion of the first anniversary of the death of Mohammad Nazeri, senior official and founder of the IRGC Navy commando unit, who had trained many top IRGC commanders. The text implies that Nazeri’s death may have resulted from the use of chemical weapons, in contrast to other reports which claim that he died of a heart attack.
According to Gen. Mousavi, Nazeri also trained commando fighters in the Syrian army and in Hizbullah. Mousavi said that today all Iranian vessels leaving Iran for Africa and Sri Lanka have Basij and Iranian Vessel Guard forces aboard as part of Nazeri’s legacy.
Gen. Mousavi stressed in his statements that the Americans have no answer to the IRGC’s strategy for attacking U.S. aircraft carriers – involving hundreds of armed Iranian boats moving at high speed – and noted that the IRGC has decided to attack these American vessels first because they constitute a logistical base.
The following are the main points of a report on Gen. Mousavi’s statements published by the IRGC-affiliated Fars news agency:
“Gen. Ahmad Mousavi, an operative in an IRGC naval special forces unit [apparently a naval commando unit], said: ‘We want very fast boats, because the speed of the [American] enemy’s [aircraft] carrier is at most 40 km/hr. Now, think of 300 fast boats armed with weapons and Katyusha [rockets] approaching [an aircraft carrier] at 130 km/hr. Who will win? The enemy [aircraft] carriers provide fuel, ammunition, bunks [for troops], and hangar storage for aircraft. [Therefore] we will attack these vessels first. ‘
“A member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff noted that [the Americans have] no answer to our strategy, because from a certain distance their radar cannot detect [our] swift boats.”