Russia Today – December 29, 2011
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. No, certainly no,” 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.
Kapitanets said the US naval force would “smash” the Iranian coastal installations.
“The Iranian Navy is coastal and can protect the country’s interests in the coastal waters. As for the Americans, they have full-scale oceanic naval forces,” the Russian naval commander said. “Therefore, there can be no comparison here. An aircraft carrier with its deck fighters and escort ships can smash Iranian coastal installations and surface ships.”
The Iranian naval commander disagrees.
Seyyed Mahmoud Musavi, the Iranian Navy’s deputy commander for operations, said that the Iranian Navy was ready to confront foreign naval groups that could enter the area of its military exercises, where it is holding maneuvers.
Despite the tense situation and militant rhetoric on both sides, Kapitanets believes both sides will 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 actions.”
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,” Musavi said.