According to a high-ranking Russian naval official, the combat potential of a US naval group that has entered the Strait of Hormuz is more powerful than the Iranian Navy and coastal forces in the region. “The Iranian Navy’s combat resources are incomparable with the potential of the US aircraft carrier group that has entered the Strait of Hormuz and are incapable of opposing it” Deputy Navy Commander Adm. Ivan Kapitanets told Interfax on Thursday.
The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and escort ships have entered the area of an Iranian naval exercise east of the Strait of Hormuz.
Captain of a US vessel in the Persian Gulf who wanted to remain anonymous has said that in the event of war, US naval forces would “smash” the Iranian coastal installations within hours. “The Iranian Navy is coastal and can only protect the country’s interests in the coastal waters but in open waters they are no match for us”.
The Russian naval commander agrees with the US statement that “there can be no comparison between the fire power of America and Iran given Iran’s limited offensive military hardware.”
While painting a different picture, Seyyed Mahmoud Musavi, the Iranian Navy’s deputy commander for operations, said that the Iranian Navy was ready to confront foreign naval groups in a real war scenario, while the Iranian Navy held maneuvers in the Persian Gulf.
Despite the tense situation and strong rhetoric on both sides, Kapitanets believes that it is in neither countries strategic interest to go to war and will therefore show restraint.
“The US’s actions are certainly provocative, but the matter is unlikely to go as far as direct military confrontation,” he said. “Certainly, the situation in the region is very complicated, but it is unlikely to grow into military action.” The Iranians say the exercises are within the norms of international law and should be respected. “We are ready to confront the violators who disregard the security perimeters set for the drills in line with international law,” said Musavi.