IRAN MILITARY COMMANDER VOW TO DESTROY ANY AMERICAN TROOP THAT CROSSED THEIR TERRITORY.
The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned that his forces will respond to any perceived threat in the Persian Gulf, after President Donald Trump ordered U.S. forces to sink Iranian vessels harassing American ships.
Hossein Salami, the IRGC commander-in-chief, said Thursday he had ordered his forces in the Gulf to destroy any vessel or combat unit that threatened the safety of Iranian ships, according to the Iranian Young Journalists Club news agency. Salami specifically referred to “any American terrorist force” posing a threat.
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has overshadowed continued tensions between the U.S. and Iran in recent months, but the animosity between Washington and Tehran has resurfaced in recent days.
Last week, as many as 11 fast-attack IRGC ships encircled a group of U.S. warships in the Gulf. The U.S. Fifth Fleet said the move was “unsafe and unprofessional,” while the IRGC said the American ships were engaged in “illegal, unprofessional, dangerous and even adventurist behavior” in the area.
Then on Wednesday, Iran successfully launched a military satellite into orbit for the first time. The successful launch could have implications for the country’s intercontinental ballistic missile program, which is one of the grievances that prompted Trump to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018. Iran has denied that the satellite launch is connected to its ICBM program.
Hours after the launch, Trump said he had ordered military units in the Gulf region to respond aggressively to any perceived Iranian threat. “I have instructed the United States Navy to if they harass our ships at sea,” Trump tweeted.
The U.S. Navy was already permitted to fire on aggressors in self-defense, though Trump’s tweet was interpreted as encouraging a more aggressive stance. The president clarified at a press conference later in the day that the military would not be changing its rules of engagement, telling reporters, “We’re covered, we’re covered 100 percent.”
Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist told reporters: “The president issued an important warning to the Iranians, what he was emphasizing is all of our ships retain the right of self-defense.”
Iran was quick to dismiss the threat. Iranian Mission to the United Nations spokesperson Alireza Miryousefi told Newsweek: “In the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic when all attention worldwide is to combat this menace, the question is what the U.S. military is doing in Persian Gulf waters, 7000 miles from home.”
Parliamentary National Security Committee member Alaeddin Boroujerdi, meanwhile, told the Iranian Students’ News Agency that Trump “wants to divert public opinion from the internal crisis of the United States and the shortcomings in various fields.”
Hossein Salami, Iran, Persian Gulf, US, ships
This file photo shows Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Major General Hossein Salami during a pro-government rally in the capital Tehran’s central Enghelab Square on November 25, 2019
He further stated that they have put everything in place; These forces total about 610,000 active personnel (not including the Law Enforcement Force ). All branches of armed forces fall under the command of General Staff of Armed Forces . The Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics is responsible for planning logistics and funding of the armed forces and is not involved with in-the-field military operational command.
The Iranian military, which is equipped with relatively modern sophisticated US-made military equipment delivered before the 1979
Iranian Revolution , has been described as the Middle East’s “most powerful military force” by retired US General John Abizaid , former
Main article: Military history of Iran
By the late Qajar dynasty , Persia formed the world’s first unified military consisting of the Ground, Naval and Air Forces. After the coup in 1953 , Iran began purchasing some weapons from Israel , the United States and other countries of the Western Bloc. Later, Iran began establishing its own armaments industry; its efforts in this remained largely unrecognised internationally, until recently.
Following the Iranian revolution in 1979, deteriorating relations with the U.S. resulted in international sanctions led by the US, including an arms embargo being imposed on Iran.
Revolutionary Iran was taken by surprise by the Iraqi invasion that began the Iran–Iraq War of 1980–1988. During this conflict, there were several conflicts against the United States. From 1987, the United States Central Command sought to stop Iranian mine-laying vessels from blocking the international sea lanes through the Persian Gulf in Operation Prime Chance . The operation lasted until 1989. On April 18, 1988, the US retaliated for the Iranian mining of the USS Samuel B. Roberts in
Operation Praying Mantis . Simultaneously, the Iranian armed forces had to learn to maintain and keep operational, their large stocks of US-built equipment and weaponry without outside help, due to the American-led sanctions. However, Iran was able to obtain limited amounts of American-made armaments, when it was able to buy American spare parts and weaponry for its armed forces, during the Iran–Contra affair. At first, deliveries came via Israel and later, from the US.
The Iranian government established a five-year rearmament program in 1989 to replace worn-out weaponry from the Iran–Iraq War. Iran spent $10 billion between 1989 and 1992 on arms. Iran ordered weapons designed to prevent other states’ naval vessels from accessing the sea, including marines and long-range Soviet planes capable of attacking aircraft carriers.  A former military-associated police force, the
Iranian Gendarmerie , was merged with the National Police ( Shahrbani) and Islamic Revolution Committees in 1990.
In 1991, the Iranian armed forces received a number of Iraqi military aircraft being evacuated from the Persian Gulf War of that year; most of which were incorporated into the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force.
From 2003, there have been repeated US and British allegations that Iranian forces have been covertly involved in the Iraq War . In 2004, Iranian armed forces took Royal Navy personnel prisoner , on the Shatt al-Arab (Arvand Rud in Persian) river, between Iran and Iraq. They were released three days later following diplomatic discussions between the UK and Iran.
In 2007, Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces also took prisoner Royal Navy personnel when a boarding party from HMS Cornwall was seized in the waters between Iran and Iraq, in the Persian Gulf. They were released thirteen days later.
According to Juan Cole , Iran has never launched an “aggressive war” in modern history, and its leadership adheres to a doctrine of “no first strike “. The country’s military budget is the lowest per capita in the Persian Gulf region besides the UAE .
Since 1979, there have been no foreign military bases present in Iran. According to Article 146 of the Iranian Constitution , the establishment of any foreign military base in the country is forbidden, even for peaceful purposes.
On 4 December 2011, an American RQ-170 Sentinel unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was captured by Iranian forces near the city of
Kashmar in northeastern Iran .
In 2012, it was announced that Iran’s Quds Force is operating inside Syria providing the government of Bashar al-Assad with intelligence and direction against rebel opposition. There is an emphasis on the monitoring of protesters’ use of the internet and mobile phone networks, including text messaging.
In December 2012, Iran stated it had captured an American ScanEagle UAV that violated its airspace over the Persian Gulf. Iran later stated it had also captured two other ScanEagles.
In November 2015, Iranian special forces assisted in the rescue of a Russian pilot that was shot down by Turkey, over Syria.
In April 2016, Iran sent advisors from the 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade to Syria in support of the government.
In 2016, Revolutionary Guard forces captured US Navy personnel when their boats entered Iranian territorial waters off the coast of Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. They were released the next day following diplomatic discussions between the US and Iran.