Why is Iran building a fake US carrier?

Iran is building a fake U.S. aircraft carrier, which some U.S. officials believe could be blown up for propaganda.

The New York Times reports that the Iranian’s fake carrier was first noticed in a shipyard on the Persian Gulf last summer.

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The ship has the same shape as the Navy’s Nimitz-class carriers. The Nimitz’s No. 68 is painted near the bow and the carrier has mock-up aircraft on the flight deck.

U.S. officials told the Times that the ship is more like a barge than a warship, as it lacks a nuclear propulsion system and is two-thirds the length of the Navy’s 1,100-foot long carriers.

“We’re not sure what Iran hopes to gain by building this. If it is a big propaganda piece, to what end?” said Cmdr. Jason Salata, a spokesman for the Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which operates out of Bahrain.

One potential reason that Tehran might want to blow up an American carrier would be if the nuclear talks fall apart between Iran and the P5+1 group: the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China.

The two sides are trying to hammer out a permanent deal over Iran’s nuclear program, but a successful negotiation is far from certain.