Tensions between Iran and the US can flare up as IRGC upgrades to a multi-purpose warship

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s elite armed forces wing, announced its latest multi-purpose warship to the world on Thursday. The vessel, named after Abdollah Roudaki, the slain naval commander of the Guard, is 150 metres long. The photos of the vessel were made available via the IRGC’s official website via SEPAH News, which during its inauguration showed it sailing through the waters of the Gulf.

The guard ship’s photographs showed that it was able to hold and fire surface-to-surface and anti-aircraft missiles. The vessel also carried four small speedboats, the kind used by the Guard in the Arabian Gulf for patrol purposes. The boat was also armed with machine guns and had a helicopter landing pad.

Many observers assumed that this was Iran’s response to US forces patrolling water bodies in the area through its Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet. Iran wanted to launch a powerful warship to defeat US aircraft carriers that routinely sail through the waters of the Middle East and to fight Israel’s increasing presence in the region, under the shadow of the United States.

It would be wrong to say that the new Iranian warship, which is 332 metres (1,092 feet) long, is stronger than the US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. But in the case of a dispute, it would give the latter a touch of rivalry.

IRGC commander Ali Reza Tangsiri said the new warship was launched because his forces needed deep-water patrols to move beyond the Gulf waters. The Guard normally monitors the waters of the Arabian Gulf, while the Iranian navy keeps watch over and beyond the Gulf of Oman. Our privilege is our presence and tasks in the Indian Ocean,” Tangsiri said.”