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US reveals presence of ballistic missile submarine in Persian Gulf

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Kurilla’s visit could be seen as a message to US adversaries in the region, including Iran, about Washington’s capabilities, including submarines that can carry up to 20 submarine-launched ballistic missiles with multiple warheads.

A defense official said Kurilla’s visit was not a response to a recent event or provocation, but rather a signal after months of mounting tensions, which saw attacks target sites housing US troops in Iraq and Syria.

In June, US officials said attacks by Iranian proxies on bases home to US military personnel in Iraq and Syria were increasing, while Washington had not responded with force since 2021.

Iran has not appeared to publicly comment on Wednesday’s submarine visit.

The submarine visit also comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons during Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, with Iran becoming more involved in the war, including supplying drones that Russia has used to attack targets in Ukraine.

Kurilla’s trip to the submarine involved a helicopter ride to a large ship, a ride to a smaller boat, and then crossing a rope bridge to board the submarine, a US military official said. He also visited the chief of naval forces in the region, Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, they said.

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