Commander of the Iranian Revolution Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Navy, Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri announced on Tuesday the formation of new naval Basij unit.

The IRGC-affiliated Tasnim and Fars news agencies quoted Tangsiri as saying that his forces were also working to establish a “shadow sub-unit,” without providing details.

He said the new Basij unit for ocean missions involves large and light vessels that can sail the high seas as far as Tanzania.

This is the first time a Guards commander speaks openly about the possibility of using light (wooden) vessels in military missions.

British and US forces had announced in the past two years the seizure of wooden ships carrying weapons on their way to the Houthis. Several of these vessels have also been seized with drug shipments.

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the launch of a multinational force to protect trade in the Red Sea as attacks by Iran-backed Yemeni militias forced major shipping companies to reroute.

“Iran’s support for Houthi attacks on commercial vessels must stop,” Austin said.

Iranian defense minister Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani had warned that any multinational taskforce would face “extraordinary” problems trying to protect shipping in the Red Sea.

“If the US makes such an irrational move, they will be faced with extraordinary problems. Nobody can make a move in a region where we have predominance,” he said.

Source » aawsat