A week after reports that Iran was building a mock-up of an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the country provided a credible reason for the vessel’s construction:It’s a movie set.
The replica of a U.S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier complete with planes, was spotted in satellite photos of Iran’s Gachin shipyard, near the port of Bandar Abbas, according to the New York Times.
“Based on our observations, this is not a functioning aircraft carrier; it’s a large barge built to look like an aircraft carrier,” Commander Jason Salata, a spokesman for the Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, told The Times Thursday. “We’re not sure what Iran hopes to gain by building this. If it is a big propaganda piece, to what end?”
The vessel was “part of the décor” of a movie being made by Iranian director Nader Talebzadeh, according to a Sunday Reuters report from Dubai that quoted Iranian newspapers.
“The issue has turned into a good excuse for another wave of hype against Iran,” the Alef news website said, according to Reuters. “Without any proof or real basis, Western media have jumped again to paint a more negative picture of Iran.”
Iranian officials were not available for comment, Reuters reported, but the Navy responded.
“We’ve seen them make target barges before and tow them and shoot them out as missile exercises and use it for state-run media,” Salata told Reuters. “This one is a little bit of a head-scratcher. If you’re spending resources on this, what would it be for?”
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