Iran deploys Russian-made submarine in Gulf

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has deployed a Russian-made submarine in the Persian Gulf after the vessel was overhauled earlier this year.

State TV says Taregh-1 joined the fleet in the southern port of Bandar Abbas. It's one of three Russian Kilo class submarines that Iran obtained in early 1990s.

Tehran has tried to build a self-sufficient military programme since 1992 and has several smaller, Iranian-built submarines. In May, it had to repair another Russian-made sub.

Yesterday's announcement comes as US-led naval exercises are under way in the Persian Gulf. The drill is seen as a response to Iranian warnings it could close the strategic oil route in the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for tighter Western sanctions. Tehran later withdrew the threat.

The US and its allies suspect Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, a charge Iran denies.

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