WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Iran announced Saturday that Iranian naval ships are en route to America's maritime borders in the Atlantic Ocean as "a message" to protest against the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf.
American media and military specialists are characterizing the potential Iranian flotilla off American shores as an Iranian public relations stunt intended as a gesture of strength that lacks any real threat.
According to CNN military analyst and Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Anthony Cordesman, "Deploying a military museum is not going to threaten the United States."
Commander of Iran's Northern Navy Fleet Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad announced Saturday that "The Iranian Army's naval fleets have already started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via the waters near South Africa. ... Iran's military fleet is approaching the United States' maritime borders, and this move has a message."
Iran is demonstrating its opposition to the U.S. Navy's 5th fleet's base in Bahrain.
U.S. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby responded to the Iranian flotilla announcement in a Twitter post on Sunday.
Iran ships to US waters? Aspirations not new. Freedom of seas applies to all, so long as they understand responsibilities of that freedom.— Rear Adm. John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) February 9, 2014
The announcement Saturday of an Iranian flotilla in American waters was made days before the annual celebration of the Islamic Revolutionˈs anniversary on February 11.
IRNA, the Iranian state news agency, published comments by officials trumpeting Iranian strength on the revolution's anniversary.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that countries and world powers have no other alternative but to respect Iranian nation and recognize their rights.
Commander of Iran Army Major General Ataollah Salehi said here on Monday that the upper hand of the Iranian armed forces has frightened enemies and created hope in hearts of the Islamic Revolutionˈs friends.
[CNN] [FARS News Agency] [Islamic Republic News Agency]