Iran’s defense minister has called on the US to leave the Persian Gulf and stop harassing regional countries.
Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan made the remarks on Thursday in response to recent hostile comments by US officials against the Islamic Republic.
“What is the US doing in the Persian Gulf? They better leave this region and not harass the regional countries,” Dehqan said, adding, “Is it acceptable that an ignorant armed robber breaks into someone’s house and expects to get red carpet treatment? This is an instance of modern, 21st century barbarism.”
The remarks come at a time of increased belligerence shown against Iran by the administration of President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, US Army General Joseph Votel, who heads the US Central Command (CENTCOM), said Washington should consider using “military means” against Iran.
Votel described Tehran as “the greatest long-term threat to stability” in the Middle East and accused Iran of “destabilizing” the region through “lethal aid facilitation,” using “surrogate forces” and cyber operations.
Earlier this month, the US Navy claimed that its aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush bad been “harassed” and “threatened” by Iranian vessels while passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran’s chief Armed Forces spokesman, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, dismissed the claim, saying Washington had better look at the movements of its own naval forces in the region.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Navy has on several occasions forced US Navy vessels to change course before wandering into Iranian territorial waters.
The Islamic Republic has repeatedly warned that any act of transgression into its territorial waters would be met with an immediate and befitting response.