Iran has produced an anti-American propaganda video showing the US Navy’s fleet being sunk by a huge tidal wave.
Produced by Iran’s Organization of Islamic Information, which is controlled by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the film portrays a group of Iranian men confronting and destroying an American naval fleet. A translation of the video was released by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Tuesday.
The video – which also shows a burning American flag – comes amid escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington after a series of tense close-calls in the Persian Gulf recently.
Four times last week, speedboats belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, described as a kind of government-sanctioned Islamic militia harassed American vessels patrolling the Gulf.
The Pentagon has denounced the ‘unprofessional’ encounters, including one that prompted an American ship to fire warning shots.
MEMRI observed that the video was uploaded online twice in August: once on the pro-Khamenei website Javan, which is linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and again on another pro-government site, which criticized the video for having a “weak” story-line and “[ignoring] Iran’s military capabilities.”
It comes after a series of what officials described as unsafe and provocative behavior in the Persian Gulf.
The most dramatic moment in four encounters the Pentagon described last week occurred when an IRGC boat maneuvered around two US patrol ships, the USS Squall and USS Tempest.
Despite multiple warnings via radio and loudspeaker, the Iranian boat approached head on, coming within 200 yards (meters) of one of the vessels.
Ultimately, the Squall fired three warning shots from a 50-caliber gun, causing the Iranian vessel to turn away, officials said.
A defense official told AFP that ships from the US and Iranian navies had interacted more than 300 times in 2015 and more than 250 times the first half of this year.
Ten percent of those encounters were deemed unsafe and unprofessional, the official said.
Iran has frequently threatened or targeted U.S. naval forces. Last September, Khamenei posted a video to his YouTube account which warned, “should any war break out, one who will emerge humiliated out of it will be invading and criminal America.”