Israeli, U.S. Nuclear Subs in Show of Force Against Iran

YERUSHALAYIM -
The USS Georgia, a nuclear-powered submarine with land-attack missile capabilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James Kimber/Released)

An Israeli nuclear submarine crossed the Suez Canal last week in a show of force against Iran, the Kan public broadcaster reported on Monday night.

The submarine surfaced and faced the Persian Gulf, which lies on the other side of Saudi Arabia.

The move was approved by Egypt, according to the report, which cited Arab intelligence sources.

The IDF declined to comment on the report.

The disclosure came on the same day that IDF chief of staff Aviv Kohavi warned Iran against attacking Israel.

“Recently, we have heard increased threats from Iran against the State of Israel. If Iran and its partners, members of the radical axis [Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Palestinian terror groups], whether in the first circle of states or the second, carry out actions against Israel — they will discover their partnership to be very costly,” said Kohavi.

Iran has threatened to attack Israel since the assassination of its senior nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in late November, which it blamed on Israel.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy was also operating in the region, with Iran on its radar.

The nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine USS Georgia transited the Strait of Hormuz on Monday accompanied by two additional American warships, the Navy said in a rare public announcement of a nuclear submarine’s movements.

The Georgia’s presence “demonstrates the United States’ commitment to regional partners and maritime security with a full spectrum of capabilities to remain ready to defend against any threat at any time,” the Navy warns.

Chief among those capabilities, the Navy said, is that the ship can “carry up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles.”

The statement was accompanied by photos showing the USS Georgia escorted by the cruisers USS Port Royal and USS Philippine Sea, in the strategic strait that Iran frequently threatens to block.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iranian-backed militias for a rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Sunday. And some U.S. officials have expressed concern that Iran may use the anniversary of the killing of its arch-terrorist General Qasem Solemani to carry out a strike on U.S. assets abroad.