Mostafa Esbati, senior Iranian defence official and the Director of the Iranian Maritime Industries Organization claimed today that the High-speed boats produced by the defence manufacturers there are among the best in the world.He claimed that the Iranian Navy gives special importance to the boats, which were used extensively during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
Last year, Admiral Ali Fadavi, the head of the Naval wing of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) had said that the presence of high-speed boats have provided much flexibility and mobility to the IRGC navy and made it one of the most efficient naval outfits in the region. Fadavi had claimed that no other country in the world is capable of carrying complex manoeuvres with the speed boats which the Iranian Navy and the IRGC Navy is capable of doing. He also said that the presence of high-speed missile-launching vessels gives Iran a unique advantage, as compared to its neighbours.
Fadavi even compared the capability of the Iranian Naval Forces with that of the United States Navy. He claimed that his vessels can travel at a maximum speed of up to 60 knots (69 miles per hour), while the fastest of the US warships can only cruise at a speed of 31 knots (35 mph).
Early this year, some of the US warships had complained that the Iranian high speed boats are continuously harassing them without any provocation and engaging in offensive tactics. One of the major incidents happened on the Strait of Hormuz, which is regarded as the gateway to the Persian Gulf. On January 6th, three Iranian high speed boats approached the US Naval ship USS New Orleans. At some point of time, the boats were just 500 yards away from the ship. Although the boats eventually retreated, the incident provoked a diplomatic standoff between both the nations, with the US complaining that the Iranian naval authorities have broken the maritime protocols.
In another incident, which also occurred on the same day, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Adak was approached by a number of Iranian high speed boats near the Kuwait coast. The US sources are claiming that the Iranian Navy is behaving more aggressively for the last few months.