The IRGC is converting trading vessels into military ships armed with UAVs and missile systems. Iran aims to establish terror bases in the maritime space of the Middle East region.
Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, speaking at a conference hosted by the Institute for Policy and Strategy of Reichman University in Herzliya on Monday evening, revealed a new strategy of the IRGC naval forces – constructing “floating terror bases.” In his discussion, Minister Gallant also addressed the measures required to contend with Iran’s regional aggression and the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear program.
Minister Gallant detailed the Iranian strategy of converting trading vessels into military vessels armed with offensive equipment such as UAVs and missile systems, as well as with advanced means for intelligence gathering. He also addressed their intention to station the vessels at far distances from Iran, for extended periods of time.
Minister Gallant: “The [Iranian plan] is a worrisome, ‘pirate policy’. Iran is conducting itself like a collection of criminal organizations and not a modern state. The floating terror bases are an extension of Iran’s ongoing maritime terrorism, as seen in its actions in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. Iran aims to expand its reach to the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and even the shores of the Mediterranean. This is a structured plan designed to threaten trade and flight routes – both military and civilian – and to create a permanent threat in the maritime arena.”
Minister Gallant added: “The way to confront Iranian terrorism in the air, at sea, and on land is through international cooperation and the creation of coalitions.”