Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami says the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic are strong enough and enjoy the determination to head off any threat posed by enemies as proven by the recent seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf.
"When a ship carrying Iran's oil is illegally impounded, we swiftly deal with their illegal action in the Persian Gulf, which means the Islamic Republic has the will and power to respond to any threat,” Hatami said on Monday.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Friday that it had captured a British oil tanker for breaching international maritime law while crossing the Strait of Hormuz.
The UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero was then transferred to the port in the Iranian city of Bandar Abbas to undergo the required legal proceedings and a maritime casualty investigation.
This seizure took place two weeks after Britain’s naval forces on July 4 unlawfully seized Grace 1 and its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of Iranian oil in the Strait of Gibraltar under the pretext that the supertanker had been suspected of carrying crude to Syria in violation of the European Union’s unilateral sanctions against the Arab country.
Later, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Britain’s ambassador to Tehran, Rob Macaire, to express its strong protest at the move. The envoy was told that the British Royal Marines’ move was tantamount to “maritime piracy.”
Reports say the seizure took place at the request of the United States, which has been bent on driving Iranian oil exports to “zero” as part of its sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has denounced Britain’s illegal seizure of the oil tanker, warning that the act of “piracy” will not go unanswered.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian defense minister pointed to recent shooting down of an intruding US drone over the Persian Gulf and said, "The smart response given by the [Iranian] Armed Forces to this act of aggression indicates the Islamic Republic's high power in the areas of defense and deterrence.”
In a statement issued early on June 20, the IRGC said the US-made surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region — which sits in the central district of Jask County in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan — after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace.
Hours after the incident, the US military confirmed that one of its drones had been shot, claiming that the incident took place in international airspace. Iran rejected the claim, saying it violated Iran’s territory.
Hatami went on to say that Iran has made great headway in all areas of defense and military technology, including sea-to-sea missiles, surface-to- surface missiles, air-to- air missiles and also other types of counteroffensive and electronic hardware.
“The Islamic Republic’s Armed Forces, having the capability to manufacture and utilize the most advanced radar and smart [military] systems, demonstrated only a small portion of their combat readiness and vigilance by shooting down the intruding US drone,” Iran's defense minister stressed.
The United States has engaged in significant regional military buildup, including by sending an aircraft carrier, a bomber task force, an assault ship, and around 1,500 additional forces to the Middle East.
President Donald Trump and other US officials have, however, recurrently disowned any intention to engage in warfare with Iran, claiming that the American equipment and troops are actually meant to prevent one.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.