Warship Watch: Canadian navy deploys to threaten Iran

Three U.S. naval strike groups off the Iranian coastline are deployed, includes HMCS Ottawa under U.S. command


HALIFAX (29 October 2006) – “THERE is a massive concentration of U.S. naval power in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. Three U.S. naval strike groups off the Iranian coastline are deployed: USS Enterprise, USS Eisenhower and USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group,” writes Michel Chossudovsky, in an article for GlobalResearch.ca.*

Canada is formally participating in the deployment. “The Canadian Navy has dispatched Frigate HMCS Ottawa, which is now an integral part of Expeditionary Strike Group 5, under U.S. command. It is worth noting that particular emphasis has been given to medical evacuations and combat medical support suggesting that a combat scenario could be envisaged,” Dr Chossudovsky points out.

Canada first began deploying naval ships to the Persian Gulf in the aftermath of the anti-imperialist revolution of the Iranian people in 1979 which overthrew the U.S. puppet Shah Pahlavi regime. In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 Canada deployed the destroyer HMCS Iroquois to be the command-and-control base for a “multinational“ task force of up to 20 ships in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, headed by Canadian Commodore Roger Girouard.

“Tehran considers the U.S. war games to be conducted in the Persian Gulf, off the Iranian coastline as a provocation, which is intended to trigger a potential crisis and a situation of direct confrontation between U.S. and Iranian naval forces in the Persian Gulf,” Dr Chossudovsky says.

“Reports say the U.S.-led naval exercises based near Bahrain will practise intercepting and searching ships carrying weapons of mass destruction and missiles,” Iran’s official news agency IRNA said. It quoted an unnamed foreign ministry official as describing the military manoeuvres as dangerous and suspicious.

The BBC quoted the Iranian foreign ministry official saying the exercises are not in line with the security and stability of the region. Instead, they are aimed at fomenting crises.[1]

USS Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG 5) is comprised of USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Dubuque (LPD 8), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Benfold (DDG 65) and USS Howard (DDG 83). The strike group also includes Amphibious Squadron 5, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WHEC 726) and Canadian Frigate HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341).


1.“U.S. Naval War Games Off the Iranian Coastline: A Provocation Which Could Lead to War?

2. BBC, 23 October 2006.

Related Reading

No Harbour for War – Waging War on Iraq: A Brief Time-Line of Canadian Intervention since 1990 (HALIFAX, 24 February 2003) – Canada long ago joined this war on Iraq: for the past 12 years the Canadian Navy has been enforcing a senseless and cruel economic war on the civilians of Iraq which has cost more than one million lives. JON ELMER and VALERIE ZINK



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Filed under Canadian Forces, West Asia (Middle East)

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