If any US vessel threatens Iran’s military or ships, they will be destroyed, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami said today. The head of the country’s special forces also claimed the security of the Persian Gulf is the ultimate strategic priority for the Islamic Republic. The brazen warning comes as Donald Trump has issued a series of threats to Iran this month, despite the current coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Salami said: “I have ordered our naval forces to destroy any American terrorist force in the Persian Gulf that threatens security of Iran’s military or non-military ships.
“Security of the Persian Gulf is part of Iran’s strategic priorities.
“I am telling the Americans that we are absolutely determined and serious in defending our national security, our water borders, our shipping safety, and our security forces, and we will respond decisively to any sabotage.
“Americans have experienced our power in the past and must learn from it.”
After the Middle East almost suffered all-out war, tensions between Mr Trump and Iran have seen a spike in recent weeks.
The US Navy accused Iranian vessels of confrontational and aggressive behaviour in the Gulf.
According to the Navy, six of its vessels were confronted by ships from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Such was the behaviour of the vessels the US Central Command warned any further actions could risk a flare up in relations between the two states.
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The US Navy said: “11 Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels repeatedly conducted dangerous & harassing approaches against US naval ships operating in international waters of North Arabian Gulf.
“US crews took actions deemed appropriate to avoid collision.
“The US crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio, five short blasts from the ships’ horns and long-range acoustic noise maker devices, but received no response from the IRGCN.
“After approximately one hour, the IRGCN vessels responded to the bridge-to-bridge radio queries, then manoeuvred away from the US ships and opened distance between them.”
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This came after the IRGC redirected a Hong-Kong flagged oil tanker to its waters.
Iran has also accused the US of blocking multiple ships in the Strait of Hormuz – a key stretch in the Persian Gulf.
In response, Mr Trump has ordered the US Navy to attack and destroy any Iranian gunboats that approach US vessels.
The US President has also warned the Islamic Republic against any surprise attacks in the Middle East amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Tensions between the two countries flared after the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal.
The deal was designed to limit Iran’s nuclear development while also allowing international investigators into the country.
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