The commander of IRGC's navy has issued new threats against “enemies” as Washington considers removing sanctions imposed on the controversial military force.
Media reports in recent days indicate the Biden administration is negotiating with Iran to remove the Revolutionary Guard from the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list in exchange for a promise by Iran to limit its malign activities in the region.
The IRGC's news website Sepah News on Sunday quoted Alireza Tangsiri the commander of IRGC's naval forces as having said at a gathering of officers that the Guards will deal with any threat from enemies by attacking the source of the threat.
Last week, IRGC targeted a building in Erbil claiming it was being used by Israeli agents who hatched plots against Iran. Tehran was subsequently criticized by Europe and the United States for lobbing ballistic missiles at civilian areas. Its ambassador in Baghdad was summoned to the Iraqi foreign ministry for explaining why his government violated Iraq’s security. However, IRGC's public relations officer later threatened that Iran will attack two more similar places in Iraq if alleged Israeli threats continue.
Iranian and Russian navies conducting joint drills near the Persian Gulf. February 17, 2021
Tangsiri said that the IRGC is tasked with always monitoring the enemies’ behavior. He explained, "Our defense system is aggressive in nature, and we will destroy any threat at its source."
Repeating Iranian officials' statements, Tangsiri said that the enemies are plotting seditions against Iran all the time and are always ready to deal a blow. He added that as a result the IRGC needs to raise its combat readiness and military preparedness to defend the Islamic Republic.
He advised combat units and commanders of the IRGC naval force to assess all possible confrontations and monitor the enemies' moves. Tangsiri further boasted that the IRGC will use its submarines and under water equipment [probably alluding to mines], high speed gunboats and drones to secure its supremacy in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the northern part of the Indian Ocean in a way to make the enemies sleepless.
In the past years, particularly in 2019, the IRGC threatened commercial navigation in those areas and at times attacked oil tankers and other ships near Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
Tangsiri reiterated that Iran has always declared that security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz is solely the responsibility of regional states and stressed that "foreigners" should leave the region at once. "Iran will never step back from its position about the security of the region and we will not compromise with anyone about this," he said, while threatening that the IRGC will destroy any plot to undermine this security. He added that solidarity among Muslim nations of the region can lead to their security.
Tangsiri's claims about not tolerating the presence of foreign forces in the region is contradictory to the presence of several US and European fleets in the Persian Gulf that contribute to security at the request of the regional counties who are concerned about Tehran's ambitions and provocations.
During the past years, international players such as European countries and the United States as well as several regional countries have stated that Iran's policies and action, including attacks on civilian shipping and helping proxy groups in Yemen and elsewhere to attack oil installations is the main factor contributing to instability.