Iran shrugged off U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent comments about naval confrontation in the contested waters of the Persian Gulf, warning Wednesday a hard slap in the face awaits foreign perpetrators committing even “the merest violation” of the Islamic republic’s territory.
Speaking in a televised program covered by the semi-official Tasnim newsagency, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi lashed the U.S. for allegedly causing disturbances in the Persian Gulf.
He dismissed Trump’s threat last week that the U.S. Navy will fire at Iranian boats as “psychological warfare” aimed at distracting public attention ahead of the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
As Breitbart News reported, Trump had ordered the destruction of Iranian gunboats harassing American ships.
“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2020
Trump was reacting to ongoing reports of Iranian gunboats that continue harassing American ships in the Persian Gulf.
Last Wednesday, 11 Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps gunboats repeatedly harassed six U.S. Navy warships.
— U.S. 5th Fleet (@US5thFleet) April 15, 2020
Iran acknowledged their aggressive activity but chided the United States for “unprofessional and provocative actions” without offering any evidence of the same.
Now General Shekarchi has warned the U.S. to think about the consequences of any naval challenge, saying, “The Americans must have seen (it before and know well) that if they take the smallest act of aggression against the Islamic Republic’s territorial waters or the interests of our people, they would receive a slap harder than before.”
“It’s no joke when it comes to defending our country,” the general stressed.
Claiming the U.S. is a violator of international law and a problem in the region, the Iranian military official said, “Under such circumstances, if they (the U.S.) make a possible mistake and receive a slap (from Iran), it will be justifiable that they deserve such a slap.”
The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces last week denounced the presence of American forces in the region as the “root cause of insecurity for regional countries,” warning that any future provocative move by the U.S. military will draw a merciless response from Iran’s most excellent military forces, Tasnim reported.