Iran directly threatens the United States with the destruction of warships
Defence Redefined
Published on 23/04/2020 at 22:42

Iran will destroy US warships if its security is threatened in the Gulf, the head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said on state television on Thursday April 23 following US President Donald Trump’s warning to Tehran regarding the “harassment” of US ships.

“I have ordered our naval forces to destroy any American terrorist force in the Persian Gulf that threatens the security of either Iran’s warships or non-warships,” said Lt. Gen. Hossein Salami. “The security of the Persian Gulf is part of Iran’s strategic priorities”.

Trump said he had instructed the US Navy to fire on any Iranian ship that was harassing it at sea, but later said he was not changing military terms.

Earlier this month, the U.S. military stated that 11 U.S. Navy Revolutionary Guard ships came close to a U.S. Navy ship and a U.S. Coast Guard ship in the Gulf, calling the moves “dangerous and provocative”.

Tehran blamed the incident on the US. Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, who represents US interests in the country, so as to protest regarding the recent tensions between Tehran and Washington.

“I tell the Americans that we are absolutely determined and serious about defending our national security, our maritime borders, the security of our ships, and our security forces, and we will respond decisively to any sabotage”, Salami said.

“Americans have felt our power in the past and they need to learn from it”.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have escalated since 2018, when Trump withdrew from Tehran’s nuclear deal with six world powers in 2015 and reinstated sanctions that hurt its economy.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that Trump should focus on rescuing members of the US military from the outbreak of the new coronavirus. 

“The US military has more than 5,000 cases of COVID-19. Also, the US forces have no reason being 7,000 miles away from their homeland, challenging our sailors off the coast of our own Persian Gulf”, Zarif posted on Twitter.

Iran’s religious leaders say the US military presence in the Middle East is a threat to the security of the Islamic Republic.

Feeding the competition for Tehran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, the Guards said on Wednesday April 22 that they had successfully launched the first military satellite into orbit. The announcement sparked protests in Washington.

The U.S. military says that the same long-range ballistic missile used to launch satellites into orbit could allow Tehran to launch long-range missiles that would one day carry nuclear warheads.

Tehran denies US allegations that the activities are used as a cover for ballistic missile development and says it has never sought to develop nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, Tehran has called on the United States to be held accountable for the “barbaric” sanctions imposed on Iran, one of the countries most affected by the new coronavirus.

On Thursday April 23, the Ministry of Health announced 90 new deaths due to COVID-19 disease, with the result that the report of the epidemic in Iran reaches 5,481 deaths.

“Today, coronavirus is spreading not only in Iran but in almost all countries, and it requires collective action to deal with it,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragatsi said in a statement.

“Apart from the fight against the virus, Iran is facing illegal US sanctions, which double the pressure on Iranian people,” he said.

“Iranian people have the right to access their financial resources in order to fight the disease and deal with the economic consequences of the pandemic”, he added. 

“The barbaric and unilateral sanctions of the United States against Iran are a clear violation of Security Council Resolution 2231, therefore the United States must be held accountable to the international community,” he added.

Source: ANA MPA




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