In its message of preparedness and defiance for an escalation, on Monday, Iran reportedly warned that it could capture vessels belonging to America after the Pentagon successfully beefed up its exclusive presence in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
The Islamic Republic has the capability of reciprocating menaces of the Americans … including via seizure of vessels in return, explained Brig. Gen. Ramezan Sharif, the spokesman of Iran’s hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (abbreviated the IRGC), in comments captured by the Fars News Agency.
This reaction came a day after the US sent a 3,000-strong contingent of US personnel and Marines to the Red Sea. Earlier in July, the US military dispatched F-35, A-10, and F-16 warplanes and the Navy destroyers to the Persian Gulf.
The reinforcement, per the US officials, is aimed at conducting joint patrols in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway of vitality to the global oil trade.
The US has mentioned that the presence is mainly aimed at curbing Iran, which has been “harassing” commercial vessels in strategic waters.
The US Navy has observed 20 instances of harassment, among them seizures or attacks, by the IRGC over the past two years, describing Iran as a threat to regional maritime safety and security and the global economy.
Tehran has, however, not refused its involvement in most of these cases, justifying such a move on the war on oil smuggling or acting per court orders.
The countries in the region have realized that Iran is emerging as a significant regional power, per the IRGC spokesman.
Two weeks back, in response to US deployments, the Iranian Defense Ministry successfully delivered to the IRGC dozens of its first set of long-range ballistic missiles (naval) that were said to be “homemade” and could “destroy” enemy carriers.
The safety and security of the Persian Gulf must be maintained by littoral states there, the spokesman added in his speech, claiming that the countries have, by now, understood America’s weakness as well as the Islamic Republic’s strength in confrontations of the recent past.
One of these countries is the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a significant rival to the Islamic Republic — one that has been unnerved by vessel seizures and other kinds of maritime-specific tensions blamed on Iran’s forces.
Despite the recent push for reconciliation with Abu Dhabi as part of regional thaw, Tehran held military drills last week — boasting advancements and boosting defence around three Persian Gulf Islands under its control but at the core of a decade-long territorial dispute with the UAE.
References: Flipboard, AL- Monitor
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