The commander of IRGC's navy says that in clashes with the US Navy 9 of its sailors have been killed, without providing details or timing of any fatal incident.
Admiral Alireza Tangsiri speaking in gathering in on Sunday said the Revolutionary Guard navy had “nine martyrs” in direct clashes with the US Navy but has been able to “slap America nine times”.
He did not elaborate if he was speaking about one incident or several encounters over a period of time, but his reference to slapping America nine times clearly pointed to a string of incidents over several years.
As an example of how Iran slapped America, Tangsiri referred to an incident in October when according to Iran its navy stopped the US “stealing oil from a tanker” and it seized a Vietnamese-flagged vessel and brought to port.
At the time the US said the only incident it observed was Iran seizing a tanker and did its navy did not intervene.
Iran carried on with its claims of victory against the US Navy for a few days, providing conflicting version of the story.
Tangsiri also said that due "some considerations" several clashes between Iran and US forces has never been disclosed.
The US has never reported a serious engagement and trading of fire with the Iranian Navy, except warning shots in the past. In May, a US Coast Guard cutter fired 30 warning shots at two IRGC fast-attack boats. In April also US warships fired warning shots.
Revolutionary Guard speedboats and lately drones and helicopters periodically harass US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf or the Sea of Oman.
During the Trump Administration naval encounters with Iran were common. The only serious incident was in July 2017 when a US warship fired two warning shots at Iranian armed speedboats.