“In many ways,” Rue explained, “the origins of Iran’s naval buildup stem from embargoes that the U.S. slapped on Tehran during its war with Iraq, more than two decades ago. Since then, Tehran has sought what it calls ‘self-sufficiency.'”
“In 2010, the IRIN put its first domestically manufactured traditional surface combatant, the Mowj class destroyer, to sea. Tehran has also built four Combattante II class guided missile patrol boats. In August 2010, it expanded the Peykaap/Tir class line, a fast-attack craft capable of carrying anti-ship cruise missiles and hitting a cruising speed of 55 knots. The U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence says that these programs ‘demonstrate Iran’s ability to produce mid- to large-size ships” and “will likely be followed by others.'”
In an act of defiance towards American naval hegemony in the Gulf, Iranian naval commander Habibollah Sayyari stated in September that “like the arrogant powers that are present near our marine borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to the American marine borders.”
However, security journalist and blogger Michael Peck noted, “the Iranian Navy isn’t about to shell Cape Cod.”
Iranian missile boats do not have the range to reach the United States and return, he explained. However, Iranian submarines are within range of vital American interests and allies, including Saudia Arabia and Israel, worrying many in the region.