Last week, an Iranian Naval Commander threatened to deploy ships off the U.S. coast as a provocative show of force.
Now it looks like Iran might actually be serious.
A new map that allegedly shows the expected path of the Iranian Naval expedition to the U.S has leaked online from an Iranian website, according to MEMRI.
The unprecedented route for the Islamic Republic would take Iranian ships through the Suez Canal and into the warm waters of the Caribbean, a total nautical distance of approximately 9000 miles. According to MEMRI, Iranian media sources claim:
“In this new and feasible mission, the ships of the navy of the Iranian Army will sail west, towards the Strait of Gibraltar, after they enter the Mediterranean. Subsequently, they will enter the Atlantic Ocean, and from there they must traverse the long distance to their destination off Cuba, in the Gulf of Mexico, and Central and South America."
Iranian Naval chief Sayyari has previously threatened on Iranian state TV to send a fleet of warships into the Atlantic armed with “Nour” long-range anti-ship cruise missiles. The proposed Iranian flotilla would be an extension of Iran's presence in the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean.
Iranian warships deployed close to the U.S. mainland would be a deliberate provocation. The warships could be viewed as additional leverage-- alongside Iran's threat to cut off oil supplies through the gulf of Hormuz-- if Israel were to strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.
MEMRI pulled a second map from the Iranian website that had no accompanying description, but showed a number of western countries in different colors, including the U.S., Cuba, Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador and Brazil. See Below:
In addition, an unconfirmed report in an Italian newspaper in September claimed Hezbollah-- a terrorist proxy of Iran-- has opened up a base in Cuba. This allegation was repeated by Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann just last week.
Whether Iran launches this aggressive naval action or not, the Ayatollahs are clearly looking for ways to agitate the United States and complicate international efforts to contain the number one global sponsor of terrorism.
You can read the full report and detailed analysis on the Iranian maps here.