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VIDEO: Iran launches ‘stealth’ destroyer

A group of Iranian Navy ships. (Tasnim News Agency/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran has launched a domestically made destroyer, which state media said has radar-evading stealth capabilities, amid rising tensions with the United States.

In a ceremony on December 1 broadcast live on state television, the Sahand destroyer joined Iran’s regular navy at a base in Bandar Abbas, at the mouth of the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

According to state TV, the Sahand has a flight deck for helicopters, torpedo launchers, anti-aircraft and anti-ship guns, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, and electronic warfare capabilities.

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Iran added the first domestically made destroyer to its fleet in 2010 in the Persian Gulf. Reportedly Iran has five other destroyers.

On November 29, Iran’s navy announced the acquisition of two mini-submarines designed for operation in shallow waters such as the Persian Gulf, including one new sub and an overhauled one.

The announcements are likely intended to boost Iran’s military image amid rising tensions with the United States, which in November reimposed all sanctions that had been lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of that deal in May. Trump said the agreement was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.