In a series of pictures and messages on Instagram, the U.S. Navy has mocked the Islamic Republic for making a replica of an American aircraft carrier and using it for target practice in the Persian Gulf.
"They are experts in this," the U.S. Navy captioned one the images on its Instagram account, which shows a mock-up of an American aircraft carrier in the port of Bandar Abbas, on the Persian Gulf.
U.S. Navy messages on Instagram followed the IRGC's naval drills on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Persian Gulf. During the exercise, the IRGC fired missiles at the bogus aircraft carrier, a replica of the nuclear-powered Nimitz class carriers.
The naval drill was broadcast on Iran's monopolized state-owned television, and the United States condemned it as "irresponsible and reckless behavior by Iran," calling it an attempt "to intimidate and coerce."
Meanwhile, Daily Mail reported on July 31, the Islamic Republic show of force "paled in comparison to the US Navy's unmatched prowess, which includes 11 aircraft carriers." Yahoo News also said Iran has none of the mammoth vessels, except for the replica.
The fake carrier was towed by a tugboat to the Strait of Hormuz from the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas for target practice on Tuesday.
During the IRGC naval exercise, speedboats moved in the region's waters, and then artillery and missile-equipped helicopters fired at some targets in Iranian territorial waters.
In a part of the Iranian TV report, a missile was fired from a military truck that hit the deck of the mock-up aircraft carrier. Then, a helicopter also targeted the dummy vessel with a rocket that apparently hit it on the shipboard.
Seconds later, swarms of the IRGC speedboats surrounded the replica and combat units were shown invading its deck.
On the sidelines of the naval drill, the IRGC Chief Commander Hossein Salami said, "What was demonstrated today at aerospace and naval levels was totally offensive." However, he immediately insisted that the Islamic Republic's strategy is "defensive".
About 30% of the world's oil tankers cross the Strait of Hormuz and about 18.3 million barrels of oil and roughly 1.7 million barrels of oil products and liquefied natural gas pass through the Strait daily.