Iran has conducted a major military exercise, and part of that exercise was its unveiling of a new “suicide drone.” The first link and second link give a report on this exercise and the new “suicide drone.” The first link, from the Arab media, shows a picture of it.
Frankly, in looking at the photograph of Iran’s new “suicide drone,” I was underwhelmed. It looks to me like an upgraded version of the old World War II-era German V-1 “buzz-bombs” that had wings and took off from a ramp. Questions to ask are: What is its speed and range? How large a payload does it carry? I’m just a layman of course, but based on the large size of its wings compared to its fuselage size, it’s my guess that it is a rather slow drone. If it is a copy of a US reconnaissance drone, it stands to reason that this drone is not very fast and its original American design was for it to hover slowly a long time in the air. If this was a multi-mach weapon, its wings would sheer off from aerodynamic stress. That is why fast cruise missiles have very small fins for course corrections and navigation. I hardly think this is a new “wonder weapon.” It is my view that American navy ships could shoot these “suicide drones”‘ down rather easily. Personally, I think the term “suicide drone” is a rather colorful term for this contraption. A better term, in my opinion, would be to call it a slow cruise missile. However, oil tankers would be easy targets for this and any other Iranian cruise missiles.
The much bigger story is where the Iranian military exercise was conducted. it was conducted in an area which included the waterways around the Strait of Hormuz, which the first link notes is the passageway through which 1/5th of the world’s oil shipments pass on the routes to world markets. Iran was sending a message to the world that it believes it can cut off the supply of the world’s oil from Persian Gulf ports (i.e. Saudi, Kuwaiti, and UAE ports) to world markets if it chooses to do so. The “suicide drone” announcement was, I believe, a sideshow.
This Iranian military exercise around the Strait of Hormuz may have been a very blunt message to Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf oil-producing states that the price of oil has fallen far enough and that the Saudis and their allies need to cut production of oil to boost the global oil price. OPEC was not united in refusing to cut oil production to keep the oil price higher. Many oil-producing nations do not support the lower-oil policies of the Saudi-led oil producers. The third link relates the Saudi position in maintaining a low-price policy for oil, but the last link reports that such oil-producing nations as Venezuela, Libya, Russia, Iran and Nigeria do not support the Saudi low-oil-price policy. Russia is especially being hurt by the low oil prices, and Iran is their ally in the “Gog-Magog” alliance prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39 of the Bible. Perhaps Russia told Iran to conduct these military exercises around the choke-point though which Saudi oil flows to world markets as a message to the Saudis that Russia has “had enough” of the Saudi oil policy. Were the Russians giving the Saudis a warning via their junior Iranian ally? I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if that was the purpose of the massive Iranian military exercise in the area that controls the transit of oil loaded from Saudi oil ports.