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These satellite images show Iran’s construction of a fake U.S. aircraft carrier

Satellite images show the fake ship being built (Digital Earth and Google)
Satellite images show the fake ship being built.(DigitalGlobe and Google)

Last month, the New York Times reported that satellite images appeared to show that Iran was undertaking a strange task: Creating a nonfunctional, full-size replica of an American Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier at the Gachin shipyard near Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf.

Why, exactly, would Iran do this? Analysts told the Times that the boat might be blown up, either as target practice or for propaganda purposes. Iranian media rebutted these theories, instead reporting that the boat was part of a set being built for a movie based on the 1988 downing of an Iran Air passenger jet by the USS Vincennes.

Either way, something is definitely being built. DigitalGlobe and Google have today released additional images of the Gachin shipyard that show the construction work, which you can see in the images below and the gif above.

Feb. 6, 2014

Feb. 6, 2014 (DigitalGlobe and Google)

Feb. 8, 2014

Feb. 8, 2014 (DigitalGlobe and Google)

March 16, 2014

March 16, 2014 (DigitalGlobe and Google)

19 March 2014

March 19, 2014 (DigitalGlobe and Google)

This image show you what the ship is supposed to look like:

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) off the coast of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia. Helicopters assigned to Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2) and Sailors from Abraham Lincoln are supporting Operation Unified Assistance, the humanitarian operation effort in the wake of the Tsunami that struck South East Asia. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is currently operating in the Indian Ocean off the waters of Indonesia and Thailand. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Seth C. Peterson (RELEASED)
Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University.

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