Iran said Monday that its war games in the Gulf aim to prepare its defenses against American threats amid mounting tensions over its nuclear program. The military unveiled a new torpedo, the latest in a series of technological advances in its military.
But the United States said that while Iran may have made "some strides" in its military, it is likely to be exaggerating its capabilities.
"We know that the Iranians are always trying to improve their weapons system by both foreign and indigenous measures," Pentagon spokesman Brian Whitman said in Washington. "It's possible that they are increasing their capability and making strides in radar absorbing materials and technology."
But "the Iranians have also been known to boast and exaggerate their statements about greater technical and tactical capabilities," he said, reports AP.
According to Reuters, Iran rarely gives enough details of its military hardware for analysts to determine whether Tehran is making genuine advances or simply producing defiant propaganda while pressure ratchets up on its nuclear program.
Although Iran can draw on huge manpower, its naval and air-force technology is largely dismissed as outmoded.
"A powerful torpedo made by experts of the Revolutionary Guards will be test fired today in the Persian Gulf. Tomorrow, we will see other missile test firings by the Revolutionary Guards in the 'Great Prophet' war game," Rear Admiral Dehqani told state television, which only gave his family name.
Iran said in February last year that it had started a mass production line of torpedoes.
The Islamic Republic has three elderly Kilo class diesel-electric Russian submarines. These are capable of firing homing torpedoes but military analysts say these vessels are unsuited to modern naval combat.
Iran has also started building midget submarines, which it says are capable of firing torpedoes.
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