Announcement follows Rouhani’s earlier statement that Tehran will build nuclear-powered ships and submarines

Iranian Navy exercise in 2011. (CC BY, Mohammad Sadegh Heydari, Wikimedia Commons)

Iran is planning to build an aircraft carrier as part of an upgrade of its maritime warfare capabilities, a senior naval officer said Monday.

“Building an aircraft carrier is also among the goals pursued by the navy and we hope to attain this objective,” Deputy Navy Commander for Coordination Admiral Peiman Jafari Tehrani was quoted as saying by Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency.

Tehrani also said the Iranian defense ministry and navy are “producing different types of missiles indigenously.”

Iranian Navy Commander Habibollah Sayyari first declared in 2014 that Iran was able to construct aircraft carriers as well as high-tech submarines.

“As we have managed to produce warships and submarines, we also have the capability to build aircraft carriers and heavy submarines,” Fars quoted Sayyari as saying at the time.

Iran often boasts of advances in its military capabilities, although many of these developments cannot be confirmed by sources outside of Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier this month ordered the country’s scientists to start work on nuclear-powered ships, in what was seen as a response to the renewal of sanctions by the United States.

Iranian lawmakers had previously raised the prospect of building nuclear-powered ships and submarines back in 2012 at the height of tensions with the international community over the nuclear program.

International analysts said the announcement was likely just a bluff, since it would be an extremely costly effort for little strategic gain.