The Iranian media have been drawing attention to the entrance of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf against the backdrop of escalating regional tensions brought on by the war in Gaza. IRGC Navy commander Alireza Tangsiri interprets the U.S. carrier’s actions, particularly its response to Iranian forces and subsequent “retreat” to southern Persian Gulf waters, as indicative of Iran’s strength.
Geopolitical professor Yadollah Karimipur posits that the carrier’s redeployment from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf serves the purpose of deterring potential threats against Israel. Recent events, such as the unsuccessful targeting of the USS Mason and heightened attacks on U.S. military bases in Iraq and Syria, contribute to the prevailing regional instability. The United States aims to bolster its support for Israel, secure vital shipping routes, and ensure stability in the region. Despite the aging status of the Eisenhower, the carrier’s deployment in the Persian Gulf underscores its strategic capabilities and signals a commitment to controlling key areas and sustaining operations in the region. On the other hand, IRGC-affiliated outlets emphasize Iranian control in the Persian Gulf, sharing video footage suggesting Iranian drones surveilled the vessel from the moment it crossed the Strait of Hormuz. Simultaneously, other outlets amplify U.S. military officials’ descriptions of Iranian behavior around the vessel as “unprofessional” at times.
Meanwhile, the reformist Ensaf News reports that in a recent meeting with Basij members, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei clarified that “throwing the Zionists into the sea” was not Iran’s policy regarding the Palestinian issue. Khamenei emphasized support for a democratic referendum in Palestine, sparking discussions about the consistency of this stance with past views on the “destruction of Israel.” Iranian officials have traditionally expressed the idea of destroying Israel, with some interpreting it as a reason for reactions by Israel and its allies, such as sanctions or attacks on scientists. Khamenei’s recent remarks apparently aim to dispel “misconceptions” and underscore Iran’s endorsement of the Palestinian people’s decision through a democratic process. Interestingly, some social media users have been drawing a connection between Khamenei’s denial of any intention to throw the Jews into the sea and the arrival of the Eisenhower in the Persian Gulf.