New Iranian Submarine? Not Quite...
Various American news outlets are now printing without editing or question a an AP report, datelined Tehran, on a "new" Iranian submarine that the Iranians announced they will be building. Excerpt:
"Iran on Tuesday officially launched production of its first locally built submarine, a craft that can fire missiles and torpedoes at the same time, state-run television reported.
"Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Imani was quoted as saying "the enemy would not be able to detect the submarine." He did not elaborate.
"One submarine has apparently already been built and was shown on television Tuesday, cruising at sea level. The Defense Ministry has commissioned an unspecified number of the craft that's been dubbed "Ghadir." Ghadir is a site in the Arabian Peninsula holy to Shiite Muslims, the overwhelming majority of Iran's 69 million people.
"The submarine is capable of operating in the Persian Gulf and Oman sea waters, according to the report, which did not specify the range of its projectiles."
Wow, this sounds bad... the Iranians building their own submarine, which could augment their fleet of three Russian-built Kilo class boats? Well, it turns out that it's not quite so bad; these are actually mini-subs, probably based on ones that Iran apparently bought from North Korea and/or Pakistan in the last 20 years. Here's an interesting excerpt I was able to find on the 'net:
"One foreign military attaché in Tehran said the vessels appeared to be well-engineered but he doubted they had much ballistic capability and were most likely to be used for ferrying troops."
Where do we think that quote came from? From a hard-charging Western journalist eager to find the truth? Nope, it comes straight from the Tehran Times; all the N. American papers are happy to print the non-informative AP story. Anyway, I'm wondering if the submarine they showed on TV today might have been this one...
Update 1234 11 May: Lawhawk has more thoughts... as does Chapomatic, in an untitled (and therefore unlinkable) thread.
Update 1651 11 May: Chapomatic has another post, this one with a nice long title so his html-challenged friends can more easily link to it.
Update 1108 12 May: Chap has even more! Also, welcome, Winds of Change readers.