The leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps warned that American ships will be destroyed if they are considered a threat to Iranian security in the Persian Gulf.
Major General Hossein Salami, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards, threatened to attack any U.S. warship that it believes is a threat to an Iranian vessel or its military.
“We have also ordered our military units at sea that if a vessel or military unit of the navy of the U.S.’s terrorist military seeks to threaten the security of our civilian ships or combat vessels, they should target that (enemy) vessel or military unit,” he told state-run media, adding “that we are fully determined and serious in defending our national security, maritime borders, maritime interests, maritime security and security of our forces at sea.”
Salami then claimed “any (wrong) move (by enemies) will meet our decisive, effective, and prompt response.”
His comments come a day after President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he told the Navy “to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.”
Iran earlier this week said it launched its first military satellite into orbit.
“Today, we are looking at the Earth from the sky, and it is the beginning of the formation of a world power,” Salami said Wednesday, according to the state-backed Fars news agency.
The U.S. military also said that 11 Iranian vessels made “dangerous and harassing approaches” at Coast Guard and Navy ships in the Persian Gulf area last week.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been high after Trump withdrew from the 2015 Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran and several other countries.
Late last year, Iranian-backed proxy militia groups launched an attack that killed an American contractor in Iraq, causing the U.S. to carry out airstrikes in the country. Then, Iraqi Shiite militia groups attempted to storm the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad before the White House authorized a drone strike to kill top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in January.
At the time, top Defense Department officials said Soleimani was planning attacks in the area, while also noting that forces loyal to him in the region killed scores of American soldiers. Days later, Iran launched a barrage of missiles on two Iraqi airbases housing American troops, causing minor injuries to more than 100 soldiers.
Tensions, however, have appeared to ease in the wake of the strikes and the surge in CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases in Iran and later in the United States.
In March, rockets were fired at several bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq.