Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri said that there was no other way but for the US to leave the region and added that all foreign vessels passing through the waters are closely monitored by the IRGC Navy.
A crisis has erupted between Iran and Western countries – in particular the US – after a series of incidents in the water around the Gulf, a strategically important waterway in the Middle East.
The crisis really began to escalate in May 2019 when four oil tankers were were hit by blasts in the Gulf of Oman. Iran denied US accusations its forces had planted mines on the vessels. Both sides are blaming the other and there are fears it could lead to a conflict.
“The IRGC Navy checks and monitors foreign vessels entering the Persian Gulf and questions them about their nationality, the type of the vessels, and their destination,” Rear Admiral Tangsiri told local media.
“The Americans are looking for tensions and fires in the region and have brought insecurity wherever they go, so in the Persian Gulf, which has been a calm region and countries have been living together in peace for years, this presence of the United States and trans-regional countries has caused insecurity,” Tangsiri said in an interview at a radio Tehran.
Admiral Tangsiri said that US President Trump needs a is projecting power in the region to distract the public opinion from US domestic problems, “Americans are seeking to tarnish their own image in the region. This projection in the Persian Gulf is a justification for their illegitimate presence, but the nations of the region have woken up. The first exit from Iraq will take place, and this process will begin in other countries as well”, he said.
Talking about tensions on the Gulf he said “Certainly, since the Persian Gulf region is our home, we are not looking for a fire in our house, but we do not accept that our fishing boats are inspected by the Americans and that American helicopters fly over our oil rigs and we do not accept them.”
Tangsiri also spoke about the recent encounter between IRGC speedboats and US Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf, “They entered the area of our training area, while it was already announced that training would be held in this area,” he said.
Tangsiri added: “Today, we are following them [US Navy] all over the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz and wherever the Americans are present, like a hawk, and in the Sea of Oman, our brothers in the army are following them.”
US President Donald Trump has instructed the US Navy to “shoot down and destroy” Iranian vessels “if they harass our ships at sea”, amid increasing tensions in the Hormuz Straits.
“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” Trump wrote in a tweet, a couple of hours after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) reported it had launched its first military satellite into orbit.
The announcement comes a week after eleven vessels from IRGC Navy on 15 April came close to US Navy and Coast Guard ships in the Gulf amid heightening tensions between Washington and Tehran.
“The IRGCN’s dangerous and provocative actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision, were not in accordance with the internationally recognized Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) “rules of the road” or internationally recognized maritime customs, and were not in accordance with the obligation under international law to act with due regard for the safety of other vessels in the area” the US military said in a statement