On 9 March 2023, a webcam caught Iranian frigate IRIS Dena (F-75) underway departing Rio de Janeiro at the end of an extended port visit that began on 26 February 2023.
Forward support base IRINS Makran (441) was presumably in company with Dena. Although Iran’s leaders have threatened to send the two-ship flotilla through the Panama Canal on this “round the world” deployment, it has been a vexed question from the beginning where the ships are at a given time, and it isn’t clear if they’re headed for the canal now.
We appear to have ourselves a bona fide mystery. If anyone in authority knows what happened to the Malaysian Air 777 that took off on 8 March headed for China, he’s not talking. The most recent revelations, as readers no doubt know, suggest that the plane continued flying for about 7 hours after the last official contact from the cockpit.
Most other-directed national leadership in human history.
What a symbolic moment. Bridget Johnson caught this one on Monday (emphasis added):
“There was an Iranian announcement that they are moving ships close to the United States, and we have no evidence that Iran is, in fact, sending ships close to the U.S. border,” press secretary Jay Carney told reporters today.
Intellectual honesty required putting the recent threats issued by Iran in a realistic perspective. While we should take Iran’s geopolitical posture seriously, it does our own deliberations a disservice to accept absurdities from Iran rather than calling them out. Someone’s bound to notice eventually, so it’s best to sort the nonsense out up front.
That said, we should be concerned about what Iran has been doing in the last 48-72 hours. This is not because Iran can make good on threats like those depicted in the truly moronic Lenziran video (see link above); it’s because the Iranian regime has escalated its verbal attacks dramatically. These aren’t random bursts of rhetoric. They appear to have a specific purpose. Continue reading “Iran: Now for the not-so-funny part”