Exactly what the purpose of this aircraft carrying vessel has yet to be seen. One factor could be a matter of internal jurisdiction within the Islamic Republic.
While the Iranian Navy patrols the waters of the Gulf of Oman and beyond, the IRGC-N’s role has largely been to patrol the waters of the Persian Gulf.
Warships capable of carrying aircraft are used by navies around the world, but to date, the Iranian Navy isn’t one of those countries that operate a carrier.
The closest that the Islamic Republic of Iran has come to building an aircraft carrier is to “simulate” an American carrier as a weapons test platform.
It was used in the February 2015 “Great Prophet IX” exercises and again this past summer in similar exercises.
Embarrassingly for the IRGC-N, the faux carrier proved difficult to sink – that is until it floundered in waters in the channels near the Iranian naval base at Bandar Abbas.
Now, Tehran could be inching closer to developing a true carrier.