July 12, The Iran Project – According to Reuters,Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Monday dispatched five military vessels to monitor a U.S. warship hosting head of US Central Command, General Joe Votel on a day trip through the Strait of Hormuz, coming as close as 500 yards (meters).
According to the report, five IRGC boats including four small patrol craft and a larger fast-attack craft, maneuvered “dangerously” close to the US military vessel.
But Iran strongly rejects Reuters claim as media hype, saying the patrol boats are always in the region as part of routine operations.
An IRGC The commander underlined that the IRGC naval forces are vigilantly monitoring the sea traffic involving any foreign vessel, particularly those of the ultra-regional forces and the US, whose existence in the region is a potential threat and spells trouble.
Also, US officials stressed that such approaches fell within the category of professional interactions, the kind they see during 90 percent of the US Navy’s roughly 250 transits through the Strait of Hormuz each year.
Earlier on May, Iran’s General Hossein Salami had noted that Iranian Armed Forces are highly prepared to counter any threat or challenge in the Persian Gulf.
Meanwhile, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari has slammed the US government’s opposition to Iran’s military presence in the Persian Gulf, saying that though enemies do not want the country to have presence in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, “we will continue our powerful presence in the two areas … and stage our wargames.”
In relevant remarks, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, in a speech on May 2, hammered the US for its schemes against Iran’s military presence in the Persian Gulf and made it clear that the Islamic Republic will continue to demonstrate power at its home, the Persian Gulf.
The leader stated that the great Iranian nation can respond to all those excessive demands, stressing, “We must be present in that region (the Persian Gulf), hold war games and demonstrate power.”