Iran Warns U.S. on Naval Activity in the Gulf

Iran Warns U.S. on Naval Activity in the Gulf
Iran Warns U.S. on Naval Activity in the Gulf


Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps unveiled scores of new and upgraded defensive speedboats with a warning to the U.S. that it won’t shy away from challenging American naval power.


“Today we announce that wherever the Americans are, we’re right there beside you, and in the near future you will sense us even more,” IRGC Navy Commander Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said on the sidelines of a ceremony in the Persian Gulf, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported Thursday.


While battling sanctions and a major coronavirus outbreak, Iran appears determined to keep striking a defiant tone as tensions with the U.S. simmer. A month ago, President Donald Trump ordered the navy to destroy any Iranian vessels harassing U.S. ships, after accusations that the IRGC’s craft dangerously approached American military vessels in what U.S. Central Command said were international waters.


It’s not clear if all the vessels shown at the ceremony were new or how many had been refurbished. The IRGC received a number of Ashoura and Zulfaghar-class vessels — the same models unveiled Thursday — from the Defense Ministry in March 2016, state TV reported at the time.

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Earlier this month, Iran’s regular navy lost 19 sailors in a friendly fire incident involving its own ships during a military exercise in the Gulf of Oman. The Guard is also building a new vessel that will be named after General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq in January, according to Tangsiri.
Hostilities between Iran and the U.S. have spiraled after Washington exited the multiparty 2015 nuclear deal that aimed to rejuvenate the Iranian economy and renewed sanctions on the country’s oil exports. It also designated the IRGC –
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