Tuesday, January 16, 2007
"U.S. Navy nuclear submarines maintaining vigil off the coast of Iran indicate that the Pentagon’s military plans include not only control over navigation in the Persian Gulf but also strikes against Iranian targets, a former commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Eduard Baltin has told the Interfax news agency.
“The presence of U.S. nuclear submarines in the Persian Gulf region means that the Pentagon has not abandoned plans for surprise strikes against nuclear targets in Iran. With this aim a group of multi-purpose submarines ready to accomplish the task is located in the area,” Admiral Baltin said.
He made the comments after reports that a U.S. submarine collided with a Japanese tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.
“American patience is not unlimited,” he said. “The submarine commanders go up to the periscope depth and forget about navigation rules and safety measures,” the admiral said.
Currently there is a group of up to four submarines in the Persian Gulf area, he said. So far they only control navigation in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, and in the Arabian Sea, he said. They might receive different orders in future: to block off the Gulf of Oman, that is the Iranian coast, and, if need be, launch missile strikes against
ground targets in Iran, he said."