Iran's navy will send ships into the Atlantic Ocean, state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported Tuesday. The vessels will sail out of the Persian Gulf and toward the U.S. East Coast as retaliation for American ships in the Persian Gulf.
The Navy of the Iranian Army will have a powerful presence near the United States borders, the paper stated.
[As] the world arrogant power is present near our marine borders, we, with the help of our sailors who follow the concept of the supreme jurisprudence, shall also establish a powerful presence near the marine borders of the United States, said Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari.
Could Iranian ships in the Atlantic lead to a military stand-off?
U.S. officials haven't said much about Iran's plans, although the Pentagon released a statement Wednesday.
We've been pushing freedom of the seas for years and the Iranian navy can go wherever it wants, said Pentagon Spokesman Capt. John Kirby.
Despite Kirby's calm, Iran also said Wednesday that it has started a large-scale development of new cruise missiles designed specifically to sink giant warships, according to The Associated Press.
The missiles will be given to the Revolutionary Guard's naval division and used to protect Iran's Caspian Sea and Gulf of Oman borders.
In June, Iran test-fired a number of new surface-to-surface missiles that are able to reach U.S. bases in the Middle East and Israel. During the Great Prophet 6 Military Drills, Iran launched at least 15 missiles, including 9 upgraded Zelzal missiles, and new medium- to long-range versions of the Shahab-1, Shahab-2 and Shahab-3 and S-Type Shahabs.
Some of the projectiles can travel 1,200 miles and could travel to Israel and U.S. military installations as far away as Afghanistan.
Although Iran has declared both the U.S. and Israel as its enemies, the country stated that the missiles will only be used for defensive purposes.
We possess the technology to build missiles with longer ranges but we do not need missiles with a range of more than 2,000 kilometers and we do not intend to produce them... Iran's missiles have a range of up to 2,000 kilometers and have been designed for U.S. and the Zionist regime's bases in the region, said Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizade.
Additionally, Iran's nuclear program is always a subject of speculation. At the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference in Vienna last week, Iran again refused to stop uranium enrichment, and the country hasn't let inspectors take a complete look at nuclear facilities.
Iran is currently working on its nuclear power initiative, which has been slow to develop, and Atomic Energy chief Fereidoun Abbasi has blamed the United States for setbacks. Abbasi claims that U.S.-backed Israeli assassins are killing Iran's top scientists.
Last Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nation's General Assembly, spouting harsh rhetoric about the United States, NATO and Western hegemony.
The Iranian statesman alleged that the United States was and still is an imperialist, Zionist oppressor state responsible for many of the world's wars. The most damning part of his speech came as a series of rhetorical questions about a nameless world power who abducted forcefully tens of millions of people from their homes in Africa and other regions of the world during the dark period of slavery.
Do these arrogant powers really have the competence and ability to run or govern the world? Is it acceptable that they call themselves the sole defender of freedom, democracy, and human rights, while they militarily attack and occupy other countries? Ahmadinejad asked the G.A.
Can the flower of democracy blossom from NATO's missiles, bombs and guns?
Ahmadinejad alleged that the NATO is a war-mongering force that is responsible for causing more misery than it has abated. Do Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei feel that it's Iran's job to punish NATO and the United States? Is it Iran's job to save the world from Western imperialism?
Since the Arab Spring began in February, Iran has reached out to a number of Arab nations in an attempt to promote democracy and ally themselves with the world's newest governments.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi spoke with Libya's National Transitional Council Chairman Mustafa Abdul-Jalil over the phone last month, congratulating the rebels on their victory over dictatorship. He also invited Abdul-Jalil to Teheran on a state visit in order to deepen bilateral ties.
The country has been supporting the rebels since March and called the fight against Gadhafi an Islamic Awakening. However, Iran has discredited NATO's role in the revolution.
These [Western] countries enter usually with seductive slogans of supporting the people but they follow their own interests in ruling the countries and continuing colonialism in a new form, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in March.
The Islamic Republic has also publicly supported protestors in Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, as well as having urged Syria's President Bashir al-Assad to negotiate with protestors.
While all these incidents are isolated, the ever-present and increasing tenstion between Iran and the United States is being watched by the whole world.