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Guards Navy Commander Says Iran Can Detain Any Ship, 'It Wants To'

File photo - IRGC's Navy Commander Alireza Tangsiri, undated.

The commander of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) navy has said Iran will assure the security of the Strait of Hormuz as long as it is able to export oil.

Since May, U.S. sanctions on Iran have virtually halted the country’s oil exports, which provide most of the money for its government budget and military expenditures.

Alireza Tangsiri who was appointed commander of the IRGC navy this year in an interview with Al-Mayadin network accused the United States and the United Kingdom of designing scenarios for their presence in the Persian Gulf.

After attacks on several oil tankers and Iran’s seizure of a British tanker in the past three months, the U.S. and Britain are working to establish an international coalition to protect shipping in the vital waterways of the Middle east.

Iran has vehemently objected to these plans on the grounds tat the presence of non-regional forces will further destabilize the situation.

Mr. Tangsiri also warned the two Western powers about the presence of Israel in the Persian Gulf. Last week, the Israeli government said it is planning to cooperate with the American initiative in the Persian Gulf.

Tangsiri also claimed that “Whenever Iranian authorities wish to detain a ship, even if it is an American or British vessel, they can do so”.