A senior Iranian commander says the United States must end its military presence in the region or expect a crushing response from the Islamic Republic.
“Definitely, this is our home and it is US terrorists that are present in the wrong place,” said Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, the commander of the Navy of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
“We have never started a war and will never do so,” he noted. “But should a war break out, we are definitely not afraid of it.”
“We always avoid war, but if the enemies want to threaten and encroach upon our national interests in any part of the country, we will firmly stand up to any such move,” he said.
“I’m telling the enemies not to repeat a mistake,” he said.
The top commander also urged Iran’s neighbours to reinforce their unity to stand up to enemies.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the admiral touched upon Iran’s policy with regards to blocking the Strait of Hormuz.
“Strategic decision-makers should decide about blocking the Strait of Hormuz, but the part which is related to the IRGC is that we are ready to execute any order,” he said.
His comments came shortly after a US aircraft carrier, for the first time in ten months, sailed through the Strait of Hormuz and entered into the waters of the Persian Gulf.
The US 5th Fleet said in a statement on Friday that the strike group led by the USS Nimitz and including two guided-missile cruisers and a guided-missile destroyer sailed into the Persian Gulf to operate and train with US partners.
The Nimitz strike group includes the USS Princeton and USS Philippine Sea, both guided-missile cruisers, and the guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett.
That comes as Washington has threatened to illegally extend an expiring arms embargo on Iran.