Simulated attacks on a U.S. aircraft carrier replica by the Iranian military ostensibly to intimidate the United States backfired instead and left Iran in an embarrassing situation.
Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard ran the war games on a replica in the the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway connecting the Persian Gulf with the ocean.
The military exercises were named "Prophet Mohammed 14th" and included the replica being encircled by speed boats and hit by missiles.
But the mock ship appeared to have capsized as it was being towed after the war games. And because the waterway is so shallow, the replica will likely impair shipping through the Strait of Hormuz.
"The carrier itself, actually an elaborate target barge, is not intended to sink, however. It is meant to be reusable and has been symbolically 'destroyed' twice already. But now it really has sunk. And in very much the wrong place," naval expert H.I. Sutton explained to Forbes.
"The location of the sinking will likely create a serious headache for the Iranian Navy and IRGC-N," he added, using the acronym for the Navy of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
"It is just outside the harbor entrance to Bandar Abbas, near to the main approach channel," Sutton said.
"It is so shallow that other ships face a very real risk of catastrophic damage if they sail over it. In fact, at least as of a couple of days ago, it was partly above water," he concluded. "This is a serious shipping hazard."
The replica intended to intimidate the U.S. has instead become a serious shipping hazard and a humiliating disaster for the Iranian regime.
'To intimidate and coerce'
Prior to the replica becoming an embarrassment for the Iranian regime, military leaders had proclaimed the drills a success.
"What was shown today in these exercises, at the level of aerospace and naval forces, was all offensive," Iran's Revolutionary Guards commander Major General Hossein Salami said, according to the BBC.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy called the drills an attempt to "intimidate and coerce" other countries.
"The U.S. Navy conducts defensive exercises with our partners promoting maritime security in support of freedom of navigation, whereas, Iran conducts offensive exercises, attempting to intimidate and coerce," Commander Rebecca Rebarich, spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, said.
Here's more about the Iranian military drills:
Iran fires missiles at a mock U.S. Navy ship during military drill www.youtube.com