Iranian drones are spying on American warships, according to international media reported released Saturday.
The story broke after Iranian media revealed aerial footage of the American carrier USS Eisenhower and various other support vessels in the Persian Gulf area. The Iranian report implied that the action was undertaken by the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in retaliation for the administration labeling the group a terror organization earlier this month.
The truth is, the showing off of IRGC at this time is likely just a load of hot air. According to a U.S. Navy spokesman, the Eisenhower hasn’t been in the Persian Gulf since 2016.
Still, the release of the video does show Iran’s intentions to increase its systematic harassment of any U.S. apparatus it can reach, which mostly means American maritime forces. The flaunting of this espionage footage should be taken in the broader context of Iran’s recent strategic efforts. In the past few months, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has been calling for the enhancement of the Iranian naval forces’ presence in international waters and expanding the Navy’s power in balance with the “merit of the Islamic Establishment.”
Iran is grasping at straws for anything it can present as a win. Upgrades in naval hardware with an aim of threatening the region’s strategic waterways has been picking up traction. Surgical drone operations against its adversaries have also become a staple Iranian tactic. The overall strategic benefit of these desperate moves is questionable at best. The important point yet to be seen will be the U.S. response to any increase in actions targeting its warships in the region.