Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps warned Thursday that U.S. ships would be destroyed if they were deemed a threat to Iranian security in the Persian Gulf.
Reuters reported that Major General Hossein Salami, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards, threatened to sink any U.S. warship that Iranian forces believed could pose a security risk to an Iranian vessel, military or otherwise.
“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,” he said, adding: “Security of the Persian Gulf is part of Iran’s strategic priorities.”
His comments come a day after President Trump said in a tweet that the U.S. Navy would “shoot down and destroy” any Iranian ship that attempted to harass free movement of vessels in the Gulf.
“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 tweeted early Wednesday.
The U.S. military said last week that 11 Iranian vessels repeatedly made “dangerous and harassing approaches” at U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships in the area.
Tensions have remained high between Washington and Tehran since Trump withdrew the U.S. from an Obama-era nuclear accord with Iran and several other countries.
In early January, a U.S. drone strike killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, following violent demonstrations at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The Trump administration described the strike as a defensive measure aimed at preventing further attacks.
Tensions appeared to ease following Iranian missile attacks on Iraqi bases housing U.S military personnel days after the Soleimani strike.
Source » thehill