Iran on Tuesday launched a new naval ship to act as a deterrent against aggression from possible “enemies,” the country’s state media reported.
The 55-meter-long naval ship, launched in the port city of Bushehr, is capable of transporting up to 100 men, along with a helicopter, according to the website of the state television, Reuters reported.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard naval chief Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said at the launch that it was built in Bushehr, under the watchful eye of the Guards, by Khatam al Anbia, a construction and engineering firm.
Iran and the United States have seen increased tensions over Gulf waters, and the unveiling of the ship comes at a time when U.S. officials say that there have been over 30 close encounters between the vessels of the two countries so far this year. The number has jumped to twice of what it was for this period last year.
“This ship increases the deterrent power of Iran and will have an effect on the calculations of the enemy, particularly America,” Fadavi said at the launch, according to the state TV’s website, without disclosing whether it was equipped with any weapons.
At the launch, a banner on the side of the ship read, “America should go to the Bay of Pigs, the Persian Gulf is our house.”
This was a direct dig at the United States’ failed attempt to overthrow and replace Cuba’s erstwhile leader Fidel Castro in 1961, also referred to as the “Bay of Pigs Invasion.”