Floating Terror: Iran Weaponizing the Seas Aimed at the United States

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Surrounding Israel through its demonic proxies in Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza, Iran’s terror is expanding on the high seas, where they are outfitting Iranian commercial ships with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). The Islamic regime’s Ministry of Defense broadcast the launch of its Kheibarshekan (“castle buster”) missile on West Asia News Agency. With a reported range of l,243–1,450 miles, this missile could easily reach Israel. In fact, the ICBM’s name symbolizes the regime’s declared intentions toward Israel; it stems from the seventh century, when Muslim warriors allegedly captured a Jewish castle in the Arabian Peninsula. 

However, surface-to-surface ICBMs are not merely a threat to Israel. Although the Islamic Ayatollahs call Israel the “little satan,” they refer to the United States as the “big satan.” Iran’s stealthy creation of these floating terror bases is not at all surprising. The Islamic regime’s military ambitions must be taken seriously, and it is vitally important that we continue to advocate for a strong, mutually beneficial U.S.-Israel relationship.

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Senior Fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, describes Iran’s treacherous strategy: “It’s no surprise that Tehran is looking to extend the range of various unmanned aerial threat systems so that its rockets, drones, and missiles can be launched from containers or vessels at sea and away from Iranian territory. This helps feed the fiction that Iran intends to keep its 2,000-kilometer range cap on ballistic missiles while increasing the severity of the threat and aiding in deniability.” 

Consider geography and our oceans for a moment. Maritime law is fascinating and complex, since oceans cover more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface. For our purposes, here is a simple maritime boundary explanation from NOAA, our National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: “Once a vessel is in waters that are more than 24 miles off the coast of a country, they are considered to be on the high seas and in international waters.” If an Iranian “commercial” ship is carrying ICBMs that have a range of up to 1,450 miles, 24 miles is miniscule. 

Navigating from Iran to the East Coast of the U.S., Iran’s maritime route would begin at one of its seven ports located along its coastline on the 21-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz. Here’s a significant fact: as ships ply the waters of the channel, they transport a fifth of the world’s oil, around 21 million barrels a day, worth more than a billion dollars. From the Strait, ships sail out into the Arabian Sea, and then up through the Red Sea, which empties out into the Mediterranean. As they sail west for the narrow Strait of Gibraltar located between Spain and Morocco, the Atlantic Ocean is just beyond and with it, the East Coast of the United States. 

Boston, New York, Washington, Norfolk, Charleston, and Savannah would be in the crosshairs of an ICBM. The ruthless Iranian regime now boasts about the possibility of a 3,300-pound warhead on its “castle buster” missile. Adding a nuclear tip, aimed at our East Coast, is not out of the question to Islamic Imams who are firmly intent on attaining their goal of world domination in a modern-day caliphate. You do not need much imagination to visualize this. 

Iran’s malign sea-born activities are nothing new. The terrorist nation has made trouble in the Strait of Hormuz beginning with motorboats as a nuisance interfering with ships in the Strait. Building on the harassments, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s navy got busy unlawfully seizing merchant ships. They have added oil tanker seizures to their crimes—such as Niovi, a Panama-flagged oil tanker, and Advantage Sweet, a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker. In 2022, an Iranian “suicide drone” launched from an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) base in Iran attacked an Israeli-owned civilian tanker near Oman. An Israeli defense source commented, “Iranians are no longer hiding behind proxies.”

Fortunately, in May the Biden Administration undertook a U.S.-led multinational partnership called Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) by creating a new taskforce to train and improve maritime security in the Middle East. CMF is the largest multinational naval partnership in the world, with 38 nations committed to upholding the international rules-based order at sea. More good news: Israel’s famous Iron Dome missile defense systems are being added to their naval frigates. 

Unfortunately, Biden simply will not let go of the disastrous 2015 Iran deal—despite alleging that the deal “hasn’t been on the agenda for months.” The truth is, since January discussions have continued. Foundation For Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz sums up this latest version: “Under this ‘less for more’ deal, Tehran will give up few nuclear concessions, keep most of its important nuclear advancements, and get billions of dollars to rescue its failing economy. Too many will see the hope of a longer and stronger agreement. But they will be like pilgrims in the desert looking at the horizon and seeing a mirage.” 

Beyond what is written above about geography, terror bases on the high seas, threats against Israel and the United States, and a revived Iran deal, the raw reality of dealing with the Islamic Imams is as follows: The Western nations do not yet fully understand that we are in a spiritual battle. The Islamic regime is intently—and patiently—laser focused on their fundamentalist religious goal centered on welcoming their divine Twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, who will rid the world of evil in a “final apocalyptic battle.” They have gradually indoctrinated their elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps with this outlook, called Mahdism.

It is truly timely that millions of Christians joined in for the Isaiah 62 Global Prayer and Fasting for 21 days, which ended on Pentecost Sunday (Shavuot). With a terrorist ring of fire surrounding Israel within the physical and spiritual realm right now, do not be surprised if Israel must launch a first strike against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran in Syria. May the recent foundation of prayers worldwide enable Israel’s Defense Forces to deter attacks that would come from multiple fronts simultaneously. And may God deliver the Iranian people from the oppressive Islamic regime that is willing to sacrifice innocent citizens longing for freedom in order to achieve its evil intent. 

As we pray for Israel, let us remember the message of Deuteronomy 20:3-4: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

Please join CBN Israel in prayer this week for both Israel and the United States:

  • Pray for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to “throw Israel’s enemies into confusion.” 
  • Pray for the U.S. and all Western nations to be wise about the true nature of the Islamic regime. 
  • Pray for protection for at-risk Israeli civilians amid any multiple-front attacks. 
  • Pray for all branches of IDF to experience the Hand of God in every kind of battle. 

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her part-time as Outreach Director for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel, guest columnist at All Israel News, and has frequently traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is a board member for Violins of Hope South Carolina. Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summit and hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on Facebook.

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