Iran satellite
image: english.almanar.com.lb

Iranian officials on Thursday downplayed recent U.S. threats and vowed to respond if the security of Iranian territory is at stake.

The U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he has ordered the U.S. Navy to shoot down and destroy Iranian gunboats if they harass their ships at the southern waters of Iran.

Earlier, the U.S. Navy had said in a statement that eleven military vessels of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) conducted “dangerous and provocative actions” near U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships in international waters in the Gulf on April 15.

On Thursday, chief commander of the IRGC dismissed the U.S. officials’ claims, saying that the U.S.’ “unprofessional and hazardous” behavior caused the IRGC Navy vessels’ confrontation with U.S. vessels last week.

Hossein Salami said “We are fully determined and serious in defending our national security, maritime borders, maritime interests, maritime security and security of our forces at sea and any (wrong) move will trigger our decisive, effective and prompt response,” according to Tasnim news agency.

On the day, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that “U.S. forces have no business 7,000 miles away from home, provoking our sailors off our own Gulf shores.”

Besides, Iran’s defense minister said Thursday that the Iranian armed forces are ready to repel any threat against the country, official IRNA news agency reported.

The armed forces have been monitoring global and regional developments with vigilant eyes, Amir Hatami said at a meeting held in the capital Tehran with the participation of military advisors and officials.

A day earlier, Hatami said the “illegal and aggressive” presence of U.S. forces in the Gulf is causing insecurity in the region, Press TV reported.

Also, Iran’s UN mission spokesman Alireza Miryousefi said Thursday that the Islamic Republic will not succumb to the U.S. threats, Tasnim news agency reported.

“Iran has proven that it will not succumb to intimidation and threats, nor will it hesitate to defend its territory, in accordance with international law, from any and all aggression,” Miryousefi was quoted as saying.

“In the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic when all attention worldwide is to combat this menace, the question is what the U.S. military is doing in Gulf waters, 7000 miles from home,” he said.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, which represents U.S. interests in the Islamic republic, over the U.S. president’s recent threatening remarks.

The IRGC has called for full withdrawal of all American forces from the Gulf and West Asia, saying the “illegal” presence of U.S. forces in the region is the source of insecurity in the West Asia. Enditem

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