By SETH J. FRANTZMAN – Jerusalem Post – 06/13/2019
The alleged attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman occurred just forty miles off the coast of a secretive Iranian naval base where submarine-launched anti-ship missiles were tested in February. The Jask base was established in 2008. According to reports it is initially under the control of the Iranian navy, while the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps run other bases in the Persian Gulf.
The base gave Iran an easy way to threaten the Straits of Hormuz and potentially cut off a fifth of the world’s oil supply. It appears that the IRGC set down roots in Jask ask well, after it was expanded. Initially, the port is a center for the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy’s 2nd Naval District headquarters.
In 2010, the base was the center of the annual Velayat 89 drill, which was held off the coast of Jask and was coordinated from the base.
However, in 2015 The Daily Beast revealed that the base is also central to Iran’s drone program and has Ghadir “midget submarines.” Iran also tested anti-ship missiles near here in 2013. It has historically tested missiles in this area dating back to the 1990s. In a more threatening drill last fall, Iran fired a Fateh 110 ballistic missile from an IRGC base in Jask, according to a statement by US officials to Fox News.
In February, the Velayat 97 exercises took place off the coast of Jask, with most of the Iranian navy parading next to the Jask base. Iran showed footage then of a Ghadir class submarine using a “Jask-2” anti-ship missile. Other weapons that Iran has include the Tareq submarine’s electronic torpedo and the Ghadir submarine’s Valfajr torpedo. These were tested also in February alongside Qader cruise missiles.
Iran also has a Fateh-class submarine, with another missile called Nasr. It also has a destroyer of the Sahand class. It is a bit confusing because the Fateh 110 missile. Iran has been increasingly experimenting and improving these weapons in the last several years.