Iranian Forces on Constant Patrol in Persian Gulf, DM Says
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the country’s naval vessels are incessantly patrolling the territorial waters to counter any unintentional or aggressive intrusion, after reports that Iranian boats have approached a US warship near the Strait of Hormuz.
Speaking at a press conference in the central city of Isfahan on Thursday, the minister underscored that the Iranian naval forces constantly monitor developments in the Persian Gulf and keep a close watch on the movements of foreign vessels to ensure maritime security.
Such control and naval patrols “naturally take place in Iran’s own territorial waters,” he stressed.
The Iranian forces warn any foreign vessel that enters the country’s waters and take action if the intrusion is deemed aggressive, Dehqan concluded.
He made the comments after a US defense official said four vessels of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have “harassed” a US warship on Tuesday near the Strait of Hormuz.
Reuters quoted the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, as saying that two of the Iranian vessels came within 300 yards (275 meters) of the USS Nitze in an incident that was “unsafe and unprofessional”.
Back in January, the IRGC Navy captured 10 US Navy sailors inside Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, but released them shortly afterwards following an apology and after technical and operational investigations indicated that the intrusion into Iranian territorial waters was “unintentional”.
In remarks in June, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined that security of the Persian Gulf region comes within the purview of the regional countries alone, and dismissed the US claim of seeking security in the region.
“The Persian Gulf security relates to the countries of the region which have common interests, and not to the US. So, security of the Persian Gulf region should be provided by the countries of this region itself,” the Leader said.