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Iran Military Threatens US With 'Decisive' Response In Persian Gulf

IRGC speed boats in Persian Gulf. FILE PHTO
IRGC speed boats in Persian Gulf. FILE PHTO

Any "illegal and provocative move" will be met with the crushing response of the Iranian forces, General Headquarters of the Islamic Republic Armed Forces has warned U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf.

A statement on Monday, April 27, by Iran’s military tells "the U.S. and its allies" to honor international rules and regulations while passing through "Iran's exclusive economic waters in the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf" and avoid creating any tension or conflict, the state-run daily, Tehran Times reported on Monday.

"Exclusive economic waters", EEW applies only to a country's rights to resources on the seabed and does not connote sovereignty over waters beyond its territorial sea limit. EEW extends 200 nautical miles but has no impact on navigation on international waters. Most of a country's EEW might be international waters as far as navigation is concerned. By mentioning "Exclusive economic waters" Iran seems to be trying to lay claim to waterways, which according to international law are international waters.

Describing the U.S. move to form a coalition to maintain safety of navigation in the region and to send its warship to the Persian Gulf as "dangerous" and against "international conventions" and maritime regulations, the statement has asserted that last Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2019-2020) witnessed “the peak of American evil and destabilizing actions in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman.”

Last year, following attacks on several oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and accusing Iran of carrying them out, the United States sought to form an international coalition to protect free and safe passage for ships in the region.

The coalition began its mission last fall with the participation of countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom.

Nevertheless, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces' statement has dismissed the U.S. move as a "false alliance", claiming, "The coalition not only has had no role in providing security in the region, but its dangerous actions disrupted peace and order in the area."

Beyond a general declaration the Iranian statement does not say how the U.S. and its coalition partners "disrupted peace and order".

Meanwhile, the statement insists that the Islamic Republic of Iran, in cooperation with the countries of the region, can maintain "peace and stability at an acceptable level" in the region.

The statement is issued five days after President Donald Trump announced that he had ordered the U.S. Navy to target and destroy Iranian boats if they harassed American ships in the region.

President Trump issued the order after the U.S. Navy reported that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' (IRGC) speedboats had threatened the U.S. Naval vessels in the Persian Gulf.

Iran dismissed the report as "fake" and "Hollywood style." It warned that "if an American ship or military unit wants to endanger the safety of Iran's civilian vessels or warships, they will be targeted."

The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces has reiterated in its statement that "the Islamic Republic of Iran has not and will not initiate any tensions in the region, but will always defend its territorial integrity with readiness, firmness, and strength."