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In an Iranian shipyard on the Persian Gulf, a non-working mock-up of an American aircraft carrier is being constructed for unclear reasons. The best hypothesis is that it is intended to be blown up for propaganda purposes.

According to satellite photos gathered by intelligence analysts, the ship is in the style of the USS Nimitz, and even has the ship's 68 painted on it (as seen above) as well as mock aircraft on the flight deck. Unlike the actual carrier, however, it is not nuclear-powered and is only about two-thirds as long.

Iran has a history of using American military technology to further their diplomatic goals. Last year, the country claimed to have captured a ScanEagle drone and showed it off to the press. They have also used barges similar to the one being constructed as missile target practice, and then aired footage of the even on state-run media. At the beginning of February, they also bragged about their F–313 stealth fighter jet, which was neither stealth nor able to fly.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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