IRGC Navy chief: Enemies will seize Iran’s Persian Gulf islands ‘over our dead bodies’

The chief commander of the Navy of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says extra-regional countries will seize Iran’s three Persian Gulf islands, to which Arab regimes lay claim, only over the dead body of the country’s Armed Forces.

Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said the Iranian Armed Forces would never allow the enemies to take away the Iranian territories that the nation’s ancestors preserved.

He was reacting to a hostile statement issued jointly by the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and China, which reiterates a territorial claim to three Iranian islands, namely Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb and the Lesser Tunb.

The commander pointed to historical documents confirming Iran’s sovereignty over the islands.

“In old maps in ancient languages, the Persian Gulf has always been called by the same name. Of course, the Arabs who have no enmity with us call this region the Gulf, but those who are hostile to us call it the ‘Arabian’ Gulf, while in all the maps it is called the Persian Gulf,” he explained.

“Extra-regional enemies in the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean can lay their hands on our country over my dead body and the dead bodies of my comrades. Of course, the enemy knows that it is incapable of defeating us,” Tangsiri said.

Iranian officials have sharply condemned the statement issued by the GCC and China.

In a recent tweet posted both in English and Chinese, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said the three islands are an inseparable and eternal part of the Iranian soil.

“We stand on ceremony with no one when it comes to the necessity of respecting Iran’s territorial integrity,” he said.

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