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Satellite images show Iranian replica of US aircraft carrier in Strait of Hormuz

Iran's mock aircraft carrier resembling a U.S. Nimitz-class carrier. (Google Earth/Released)

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

Satellite images show that Iran has placed a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz, possibly to use for naval exercises.

News agencies Reuters and AP reported on July 27 that the ship, which resembles a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, could be seen in images provided by U.S.-based space technology firm Maxar Technologies.

In one image from July 26, an Iranian fast-attack boat can be seen approaching the fake vessel, while another showed 16 model planes lined up on the deck of the ship.

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Iranian officials have not confirmed any training exercises involving the dummy ship.

Tehran, which opposes the presence of U.S. and Western navies in the Gulf, frequently holds naval war games in the strategic strait, the conduit for some 30 percent of all crude and other oil liquids traded by sea.

Tensions have been on the rise between Tehran and Washington since 2018, when the United States withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and reimposed crippling sanctions that have battered the Iranian economy.