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Iran claims to have Caspian sub fleet

August 27, 2012

The Bug Pit, back from its long summer hiatus, makes note of a recent proclamation by an Iranian admiral that the Islamic Republic has deployed light submarines to the Caspian Sea.  Take the claim with a grain of salt, but it makes more sense to deploy subs to protect their oil and gas claims in a place where they would have regional superiority, than to risk losing them trying to take out a US carrier.  The latter would make a bigger splash, but the former would have greater strategic utility.  Indeed, if the mullahs are eager for a war to humiliate a US ally and to demonstrate the limits of American power, a campaign against Azerbaijan makes sense (much as Russia used its 2008 war against Georgia to intimidate other US allies in the Black Sea/Transcaucasus).  Iran can continue supporting the low intensity conflict against Israel while scoring a blow against US regional prestige and planting doubts about US power in the minds of the Israelis.

2010 photo of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entering a submarine.

Competing oil claims in the Caspian Sea

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