The Alborz warship belonging to Iran is reported to have entered the Red Sea during a time of increasing tensions in the crucial shipping route amid ongoing attacks in response to the Hamas-Israel war.
Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported Monday that the ship had entered the Red Sea through the Bab al-Mandab Strait, although it is unclear when it occurred.
Tasnim didn’t give details on the Alborz’s mission but said Iranian warships have been operating in open waters to combat piracy, secure shipping routes, and carry out other tasks since 2009.
According to Iran’s Press TV, the Alvand class destroyer that had been part of the Iranian navy’s 34th fleet has patrolled the Gulf of Aden, north of the Indian Ocean and the Bab Al-Mandab Strait since 2015.
The news comes while the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier strike group — which, after the Hamas’ deadly October 7 invasion of Israel, was moved to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea — is returning to its home in Norfolk, Va.
The Ford was deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean so it could be in striking distance of Israel after the October 7 attacks.
The carrier stayed in the Mediterranean while its accompanying ships sailed where Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis have been targeting vessels in the Red Sea since November to show their support for the Palestinian Hamas Islamic group in its war with Israel.
As a response, several major shipping companies have rerouted their vessels around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, adding excessive delays and costs.
On Saturday and Sunday, Houthi militants attacked a Maersk container vessel with small boats and missiles, forcing the company to pause all sailing through the Red Sea for 48 hours.
France’s ‘extremely concerned’ Iran is nearing having a nuclear weapon
Nicolas de Riviére, the French ambassador to the United Nations, recently told Iran International he is “extremely concerned” about Iran’s leap into uranium enrichment.
His comments follow a joint statement by France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany slamming Iran for increasing its enrichment of uranium to up to 60% purity, near the level utilized for nuclear weapons.
This disapproval was a response to an International Atomic Energy Agency report that detailed the findings. Iran dismissed the findings as “nothing new.”
“The level of threat has increased a lot, so it’s time for Iran to get back to compliance, and the IAEA reported on December 26, again, and documented the violations. So, of course, we are extremely concerned,” Rivière told the outlet.
The ambassador urged further for the West to get things back on track following the collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which fell apart after the U.S. pulled out during the Trump administration.
While now dormant, the JCPOA once limited the ability of Iran to enrich uranium in exchange for the easing of sanctions, with differing success.
However, a late November report from the IAEA found that Iran’s total stockpile of enriched uranium now stands at 22 times the JCPOA limit since its collapse.
“The enrichment capacity of Iran has increased in a dramatic matter,” explained Rivière explained. “The so-called breakout time, which was the security deadlines provided by the JCPOA, have pretty much disappeared, and now Iran is pretty close to enough fissile material to assemble a nuclear device.”
Uranium enrichment isn’t the only trouble the West has to worry about from Iran.
Alan Dershowitz, a legal expert, argued last week in an opinion piece that Iran was engaging in deliberate acts of war against the U.S. by funding proxy attacks against U.S. troops and their allies.
“There can be no doubt, both as a matter of law and military reality, that recent attacks on American troops, including the one that seriously injured a soldier, are attributable to Iran,” wrote Dershowitz.