Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy General Alireza Tangsiri said the US warships have been warned to keep 12 nautical miles away from Iran’s territorial waters or wait for an incident similar to what happened on January 12.
“We have a strong presence in the quintuple regions of the South and our independent bases in the Sea of Oman, in such a way that foreign vessels never dare to approach regions 12 miles away from our territorial waters and if they do, they will be treated like what we did to the Americans (on January 12),” Tangsiri told FNA on Wednesday.
The IRGC seized two US Navy boats on January 12 and detained them on Iran’s Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. Nine men and one woman arrived in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf illegally when they were captured by the IRGC Navy. They were freed later after diplomatic consultations.
Asked about the recent western media reports that the IRGC speedboats have monitored a US warship in the Persian Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz, he said, “It is not a new thing and every new warship which enters the Persian Gulf, we will be present there for monitoring.”
Tangsiri explained that reconnaissance of the new warships is carried out on surface and from the air by radars and drones and in a covert manner. “This is our inalienable and legal right.”
Tangsiri confirmed on Tuesday the western media reports that the IRGC speedboats have monitored a US warship in the Persian Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz.
Reuters reported on Monday that the IRGC has dispatched five military vessels to monitor a US warship hosting one of America’s top generals on a day trip through the Strait of Hormuz, coming as close as 500 yards (meters). “The five Iranian vessels consisted of four speedboats, three with mounted machine guns, as well as a guided missile patrol ship,” the report said.
In response, General Tangsiri said, “Monitoring foreign vessels in regions where the IRGC Navy conducts its missions is not a new thing and it is always done on a routine basis and round the clock.”
He underlined that the IRGC Navy is tasked to precisely and sensitively monitor the traffic of every foreign vessel, “specially those of the enemies of the Islamic Revolution and the Great Satan, the US”, whose presence is a threat to Iran.
Tangsiri underlined that the monitoring mission has been carried out for years and the western media’s ballyhoos over the issue is the result of their incorrect understanding.
In relevant remarks in December, IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said the US warships deployed in the Persian Gulf are deeply afraid of the destruction power of Iran’s speed boats.
“The US which has entered the Persian Gulf with all its military power obeys the rule of the Iranian speed boats,” Fadavi said in the Southern province of Hormozgan.
“Despite its military power, the US fears the Iranian speed boats since it knows that these small-size boats that are only a few meters in length enjoy such a destructive power that they can destroy their several-hundred-meter long warships,” he added.
Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.
Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country’s military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.
Iran’s naval power has even been acknowledged by foes. In a Sep. 11, 2008 report, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy said that in the two decades since the Iraqi imposed war on Iran, the Islamic Republic has excelled in naval capabilities and is able to wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces.
According to the report, Iran’s Navy has been transformed into a highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-financed force and is effectively in control of the world’s oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz.