By Rebecca Shabad - 05/06/14 09:06 AM EDT
Iran will target U.S. aircraft carriers based in the Persian Gulf if a war were to ever erupt between both countries, an Iranian naval chief warned Tuesday.
"Aircraft carriers are the symbol of America's military might," Adm. Ali Fadavi, according to the Fars news agency. "The carriers are responsible for supplying America's air power. So, it's natural that we want to sink the carriers."
Iran is currently building a replica of the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, which will be used in future military exercises.
The Revolutionary Guard’s navy has already targeted mock-up U.S. warships, Fadavi said, adding it took only 50 seconds to destroy one of them.
A U.S. Navy official in the Persian Gulf dismissed Iran’s warnings.
"Whatever Iran hopes to do with the mock-up, it is likely to have zero impact on U.S. Navy operations in the Gulf," Cmdr. Jason Salata, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, told the Associated Press.
These moves come as diplomats prepare for a new round of talks over Iran’s nuclear program next week in Vienna.
Negotiators are expected to draft a final nuclear deal this month. They hope to strike a final deal by mid-July, which is when the interim deal reached last November expires.